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A recent article by Gallup Chairman and CEO Jim Clifton declared that “Millions of Bad Managers are Killing America’s Growth.” Based on what I hear from clients, I’d also venture to say that bad managers create a lot of misery in the workforce.

So what qualifies someone as a bad manager? Favoritism, ineptitude, lack of integrity, inattention and micromanagement easily come to mind. The real issues, though, are that employers often don’t value the skills good managers have nor do they value their employees enough to make sure that managers are up to the task.

In my experience as an employee, teacher, professional resume writer and career coach who has worked with literally thousands of coworkers, students, clients and professional colleagues, nearly everyone wants to do meaningful work. We want to be engaged, motivated and adding value in areas of interest, strength and passion.

While our individual motivators may be different—with some preferring financial reward and others preferring greater challenge, advancement, recognition or a sense of accomplishment—most of us have goals for our work that extend beyond a paycheck.

Employers today understand the value of branding in attracting scarce “top talent.” What’s the point of investing in a marketing/branding strategy if that talent walks in a year or so? Wouldn’t it be better to create an environment where workers can flourish and employers (as well as their valued customers) reap the long-term benefit?

Ellie Vargo, MRW, CCMC