Inspired Action For Imperfect Humans – S4 EP2 “It’s 2022 and You Are Actively Disengaged” Part 2

“It’s 2022 and You Are Actively Disengaged” Pt. 2 Brief Summary:

It’s 2022. As an employee, are you engaged in the workplace? Or are you actively disengaged? In part two of this Inspired Action For Imperfect Humans podcast episode, Hosts Kyle Kalloo and Christopher Lawrence deeply discuss the current statistics of workplace engagement during the pandemic, as well as what an employee can do to encourage engagement from your leaders.

“Here’s what I find in my experience, a lot of middle managers don’t really like to manage back up.”


  • The conversation continues from the last episode
  • Workplace engagement and statistics
  • Work-life flow
  • Why are employees and leaders not asking about disengagement
  • Kyle tells his story of his early leadership at McDonalds
  • What three areas middle-managers need to advocate in
  • Managing back up
  • Why you should always ask for what you need

Calls to Action:

Even before the remote workforce evolution, office culture was inherently fragile. After all, it’s made up of imperfect humans interacting with other imperfect humans. And while perfection isn’t the goal, we all secretly wish for a workplace where people find ways to bring out the best in each other. Unfortunately, that’s not always an intuitive skill. It takes guidance, practice, and then more guidance and practice… but with the right leadership, it’s definitely achievable. How do you enhance your workforce’s ability to engage, collaborate, and adapt in this volatile and uncertain reality? Get the answers to your culture questions when you setup a complimentary Discovery Session with Kyle Kalloo at

Not loving your career? Feel you need a change in your job? Let’s Strategize! Book a complimentary Strategy Session with Christopher Lawrence here:

Tell us your “inspired stories” stories by visiting

Christopher Lawrence LinkedIn:

Kyle Kalloo LinkedIn:

Change My Life Coaching & Change My Business Coaching LinkedIn:

Looking to create a corporate coaching culture? Reach out to Kyle Kalloo:


“It’s 2022 and You Are Actively Disengaged” Pt. 2 Transcript:

[00:00:00] Here’s what I find in my experience. A lot of middle managers don’t really like to manage back up. They don’t push back girl. They don’t give them an opportunity to really say, I mean, I hear you, but who would know the thought of being imperfect, keeping you from taking action. Welcome to inspired action for imperfect humans.

Each week, we give you real life stories and thought provoking research that inspires your soul to live a more fulfilled life through your own actions from the heart of Calgary, Canada. Here are your hosts. Award-winning coaches, Christopher Lawrence and Kyle Kalloo, because I’m like, your price is already skyrocket the way it is beyond.

And it’s the only industry to my knowledge. And I’m thinking right top of my head now that still has the consumer supplement their income. Through all this other stuff and the people who’ve left, they’ve said, the reason why I’m leaving is because how I’m being [00:01:00] treated. Right. You know, my scheduling, the pay sucks, you know, and here’s the thing.

If anything ever happens, I’m the first one out. Oh, it’s slow today. Go home. Oh. And so it’s not predictable salary for them. Right. And it’s not a predictable environment. And quite frankly, people, people, whether you normally value predictability or not, people do right. Because there’s been too much uncertainty.

Kyle, I’m going to talk about some more of this employee engagement stuff. So, so for those that chose to disclose gender, uh, uh, men versus women, those are the only two genders that they, uh, that they write. That they had and, and some chose not to disclose gender. Um, for those that chose to disclose gender, there was very little difference.

Men are 2% more engaged than women.
Men are 2% more engaged than women.

Men are 2% more actively engaged than women. Um, but that, to me, that’s, um, fairly, uh, it’s not statistically significant in this case. Um, if we look at generations. Uh, [00:02:00] uh, older X-ers boomers and silent generation. I hope you’re listening because you all love to rag on millennials and gen Z and the younger gen X-ers.

But actually there was very little significance between the generations. Gen Z tends to be a little bit more engaged, a lot more. Does it tell you the age, like the year when we call? So gen, gen Z would be born after nineteen eighty, nineteen eighty. Okay. 1980 up after 1980 is, is, uh, I’m sorry. That is not true.

After the year 2000, 2000, right. I thought they were born after the year 2000. Millennials are 80 to 2000 Xers are before that. Okay. Um, so. Gen Z and the silent generation, which is older than boomers. Um, they, uh, they tend to be the most actively engaged by about 10% more than say millennials X-ers are halfway in between.

Baby boomers are, uh, almost as disengaged as millennials. The [00:03:00] interesting thing too, is that a lot of people kind of think of millennials as being younger, but. You have millennials that are like 40, 41 years old right now. And, and as young as 20, it’s a pretty, it’s a pretty broad category. Cause it was a category of 20 years.

But, but your millennials are getting. 20 21, 22 to 41 42 now. And so, so I’m a millennial, which is, I mean, that just blows my mind. So some people say it changed in 1978, some say 1982. I don’t think it really matters, but, but across the board generationally, uh, not just statistical significance there is when you look at just the silent generation versus millennials, it looks like there’s about a 15% spread.

Right, but which is just significant. Well disengagements disengagement. Uh, if you look at by industry, so consumer education, energy finance, healthcare manufacturing, not for profit, even professional services and [00:04:00] technology, uh, the lowest was energy, but it is not statistically significant in terms of the difference of any of the other industries, including technology.

Wow. So there’s only, there’s only about a 10% spread there. So that is a lot when you’re looking at the difference of say like, like 45% to, uh, to 55%, but it’s still only 55%. So, so this has crossed the board. And so why do we think that’s how. Well, I there’s, there’s two more, actually three more here that I want to share Kyle because I’d like people to know, but I think it’s, uh, I think, I, I think that’s a very good question.

I think, I think it’s important that we ask why it’s happening, but, but I th like, if you want to know the truth, I think it’s because we’re not asking. I think we’re not asking people what they want. I think people are fatigued now. Here’s where there was some statistical significance. Um, Uh, it’s in tenure.[00:05:00]

So the most actively engaged employees being 60% are zero to three months within an organization. You want to know? What’s crazy about that. After three months, it drops down to 48%. For those that are three to 12 months, it drops after three months. By 12% and then, and then it’s stays pretty static. Like, like there’s, there’s, you know, from, from three, from three months to 15 years, there’s kind of a spread in there about, of about maybe 5% between the, the groupings of one to two years, two to five, five to 10, 10 to 15.

At manager level is 49% are actively engaged.
At manager level is 49% are actively engaged.

And that’s it. Uh, this one was really interesting. Employee engagement data by seniority below manager level 41% are actively engaged at manager level is [00:06:00] 49 are actively engaged. So, so being at the manager level has afforded people, um, a little bit more engagement. Then not. So, so there is something about being at that level that maybe allows people to be engaged.

I think some of it’s probably because it’s not optional. I was going to say some of them is just, that’s a part of your world. Right? So it’s like, you know, your engagement in your role and how you’re getting others engaged. Right. Cause that’s the responsibilities usually placed on them. Right. Um, I know this podcast is running a little bit long, one more across the globe.

If we look at it by continent, all of them are, are 45% or below, actively engaged on every continent except Latin America is 61. They’re at 61. If those, those fiestas it’s the latin beats, [00:07:00] it’s the moving of the hips. That’s maybe right? Yeah. Yeah. It’s really interesting life. Yeah. Well, that’s what I think, you know, it’s interesting.

You look at it like how many Canadians do we know that have moved to Mexico or Costa Rica and the last six months? Like, I can count probably like 10 or 15 right now. Yeah. Like it’s crazy. Right. You know, and I think, you know, this comes back to something that we’ve often talked about, this whole thing of work life balance that we don’t, uh, believe necessarily in, because of the whole rebalance.

And I think we’ve done a podcast already about that because there’s parts of the flow, right. We believe more in that work-life flow that there’s times that your job needs you there’s times that your life needs you. And it sounds like there’s quite a few people since the pandemic are saying, I need to flow a little bit more.

Right. I need to be around certain things because you and I were even talking about that, right? It’s like, where do we want to live? Where do we, what do we want to be around? Because we believe no matter where you live, you are you, however, there’s a few things people want to tap [00:08:00]into right. When they look at it.

So I think the question, and we may have to continue this conversation around, you know, why, why are we not asking. Because there’s some people who you’re. Right. I don’t think they’ve ever asked what’s happening for your disengagement. Right. And sometimes there’s some leaders who don’t even know it’s happening because they’re just oblivious to it.

Right. Sometimes they don’t even want to know. Sorry. It’s bullshit. If a leader is oblivious to it, then they’re not a leader they’re managing, they’re not leading. I’m sorry, I don’t, I don’t agree with that at all. I think that’s what the shit, I think that middle managers have the toughest job in the organization.

You know how, you know, how organizations deal with disengagement. They put out a survey, they do a why survey or a 360 review, and then they fucking do nothing with it except rag on their middle management, their rag on their, because the gap, every single company that does this, it’s the same problem. The communication seems to be stopping at middle management.

What's happening for your disengagement.
What’s happening for your disengagement.

Yeah, cause we know what we’re saying. It’s just [00:09:00] not getting down to you. And I look at the executives and I say, that’s still your problem. If your middle managers aren’t doing it and that’s systemic across your organization, that’s your problem. Not theirs. It’s not their fault. You haven’t set them up.

They’re overworked, they’re underpaid. They’re not taught how to manage change. They’re not taught to facilitate change and you don’t give them. Fucking time to do it in their day girl. I know, I know when I said go deep right at me. And I mean, I think you’re getting

too deep. Now I keep digging that hole girl. You want it to go deep? And we got, I think I, you know, I, I know you’re right about that. I know you’re right about that. And I think that the work that we do, you know, especially for myself, when I’m, when I work with those middle managers and senior leaders is to let them know their responsibility.

Is to go even deeper. I’ve worked those managers that they know ish, there’s a problem, or don’t going deeper mean Kyle, [00:10:00] because I’m waiting for you to go deeper right now. So hang on. That’s what she said. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. But when you talk to these middle managers, this was actually a legitimate question.

If you wanted to pay attention. Oh God. Can I tell you some? I just think I’m the funniest thing. My sibling is leaving the house. And I said, um, well, in the words of cheese, have a gouda day.

For a guy who doesn’t have kids, you have the worst dad jokes, you know, outside of your little puppy there, you have the worst dad jokes. And trust me folks, I am the recipient of those jokes when it’s hot, because he’s already laughing halfway through it. And we’re like, okay. He talks about me not being clear with certain things, but he’s already laughing throughout this joke.

What, what is it that you tell middle-management that they’re responsible for when you coach them? Because I’m [00:11:00] really curious about this. I, I put some middle-management, I coach a lot of, um, uh, non-management employees as well. So I’m curious, what do you tell them when you have this conversation with them?

Because I actually think that it’s a systemic problem and systemic problems always require a change from the leadership, not change in leadership change from the. Right, because sometimes doing that is not gonna solve the problem either. Let me answer that by telling you a situation that happened within my mom, when I was a first leader, when I started to lead and I was a, you know, junior leader and I’m coming home and I’m writing, you know, griping to my Mom about, certain things, and she sat me down at.

You know, as a parent, the responsibly for parents is how do we keep our kids safe? How do we protect them from things? How do we ensure that they have an opportunity to grow and do what they need to do? And so from her perspective, she thinks, you know, she said, as a leader, you need to continue that.

At the time I was junior leader at McDonald's.
At the time I was junior leader at McDonald’s.

Because when these kids go off, can me, at the time I was junior leader at [00:12:00] McDonald’s. So I’m working with young kids, right? They’re 14, 15 years old. And she goes, it’s your responsibility as their leader to make sure they’re protected, they’re safe. They’re getting that clear communication is what needs to happen.

And for it to really be meaningful. I find for whatever reason, the more advanced you get in leadership, we seem to forget that that’s the responsibility. And then we find that people are making decisions on something that has more to do with the operation advancement and not actually their people. So when I’m working with those middle managers, I’m saying, listen, you’re in the middle for a reason, you have a boss and there’s someone reporting into you.

It is still your responsibility to advocate in three. One, what is it that you need to be a better leader? You need to be asked and be able to answer that question. What are you doing? Right. What resources do you need? Either tools, resources, education, development. What is that? I hear this, but I, I think they’re [00:13:00] asking them they can’t get.

Second. I think they’re asking, but they’re not getting it. I think, I think the executive level is so disengaged sometimes that they actually don’t care. Do you know how you fix this problem? You know how you fix it, you make all of your executives, soccer moms. Do you know why? Because those girls know how to communicate and they know how to get shit.

That’s true. That’s it? That’s what you do. You change all of your executives to soccer moms. So we would have far fewer. I’m not joking to these

I ain’t joking bitch. The second thing is you need as a middle manager, you also need to know what it is that your people need. Right. And I think there’s a miss opportunity there because one thing with the survey is one thing. But if you’re going to do a survey, you’re not going to do anything about it. Then what’s the point of doing these why surveys or, you know, employee surveys, where the case may be, but you still have to say, well, hold on, it’s my responsibility to make [00:14:00] sure these guys get what they need.

Sometimes you don't need to be that roadblock. So you need to understand what it is.
Sometimes you don’t need to be that roadblock. So you need to understand what it is.

And also that includes removing road. Because oftentimes the employee on the frontline has so many roadblocks. And the worst part is when you, the leader slash manager is creating the roadblock, right? Sometimes you don’t need to be that roadblock. So you need to understand what it is. And the third thing that the leaders responsible for is speaking for the organism.

Right. So what does the organization need right between yourself, others and the organization. That’s a big component. Here’s what I find in my experience. A lot of middle managers don’t really like to manage back up. They don’t push back girl. They don’t give them an opportunity to really say, I mean, I hear you, but who would know?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said, listen, either you hired me for a reason, because if you’re going to tell me how to do it, you could pay someone a lot less than me to go do that. But if you’re really, if you put me in this role to be the person [00:15:00] who’s trying to do this thing up here for you guys, meaning, execute on the vision and then almost leading the people in the frontline to break down.

Yeah. Then you, then you have to give me what I need to do that job. Curious whether it’s

Totally. And it’s like, I understand, I understand that a lot of it is, it is the budget conversation, but if it’s, if you are budget constrained and I understand that many organizations are for lots of reasons, it’s, you know, to please the shareholders or, or there is a financial situation, I understand that.

But, but then, but then. Leaders need to, to inspire innovation and creativity and resourcefulness in their people. So it’s like, okay, it’s not going to be a resource in the form of like a budget line item, another FTE or whatever, but there’s going, but, but here’s what we can do. Here’s what can cut. Let’s look at the value out of the work that these people are doing.

Cause we all know like you look at disengagement, you can totally connect it to [00:16:00] value. Add work when people. Are doing work. They do not believe is adding value to the organization. And lots of times, it’s not Kyle. One time I stopped giving a report to my boss for six months. This was an important report that I spent hours on.

One time I stopped giving a report to my boss for six months. This was an important report that I spent hours on.
One time I stopped giving a report to my boss for six months. This was an important report that I spent hours on.

Now. I kept creating it because I thought if he asks, I want to have it ready. I just didn’t put it on his desk or in his inbox anymore. And you know, it took him six months to ask. He says, oh, I didn’t get that report this week. Oh, I said, you actually haven’t had it for six months. Uh, I have them all, but I thought I wanted to see the value cause you and I have, I’m a martyr though, right?

Like if there’s a hill to die on girl, find it. Listen, I want to talk, I want to talk about the other end of this. Right? Cause we’ve been, we’ve been doing a lot of, kind of like. You know, like, like coming in hard on the leaders a little bit here, but, but I want to say to the employee groups too, there’s a responsibility here and your responsibility is to know what you need and ask for it.

I think that [00:17:00] people, when they’re disengaged or they’re dissatisfied, they’re not, they don’t know what they need. Asking for it. And they’re not checking in. And if you don’t know, that’s why you have to reach out to a coach or a career counselor or, you know, or a therapist like somebody that’s going to help you identify your needs and your wants not just needs, needs, wants desires.

I think we should have it. All right. But yeah. There’s some responsibility for you to take in this journey, and it’s not always up to your leaders to fix it. They can better address it when you are specific with your ask. And if it’s only about money, that’s good. Great. No problem. But then what cause do you know what the satisfaction period is for a raise Kyle six weeks?

When people get a raise on average, six weeks later, They’re back into disengagement and dissatisfaction. If it’s not the core thing, based on what you just said. And I think we touched on that, you know, Christopher. I’m not saying don’t pay people. Well, I’m not saying that I’m [00:18:00]saying they do that and look beyond. Yeah. They don’t know what it is.

They just know that there’s this discomfort. They just know that they’re disengaged. They’re just so that they’re not finding something. And if you don’t have the, the language or the identification of what it is by the time you talk to your leader, you’re actually. Telling them to decide for you. And when they do that, because I’m hearing that too, right?

It’s like, well, I, they, I, they said they wanted this. I thought it was this. Then I did this. Then we did this. So now. Screw it, what does it matter anymore? Right. So we have to be clear because sometimes when you tell a leader that I don’t know, I just don’t feel challenged. I don’t feel as engaged and don’t, you know what, sometimes leaders here give them more work, which is not true.

Right? It’s not always the case. You don’t want more work, you want meaningful work. Right. And so those are some of the things that you need to be able to do. So. Well, I think we should wrap this up. This is a two-parter this’ll be split. Um, so [00:19:00] our inspired action is, uh, in the words of Richie spice and the lyrics from check yourself, your inspired action is check yourself.

Never forget yourself. You may find it hard. Sometimes pressure will come to your mind. Take it one time. One day at a time. Love yourself. Never forget yourself. Check yourself. Don’t direct yourself. Behave yourself. Know what you want in life. Think of your future, take a grip of your life. Believe in you

love it. It’s our goal to build a global community of inspired action takers, and we can only do that with your help. So if you love inspired action, please leave a review on your favorite podcasting app and share a signer socials you’ve heard from us. Now we want to hear from you go to and tell us what is the.

The action [00:20:00] you took this week next week on inspired action for imperfect humans. So, so I came across this research seven and 10, uh, north American workers are avoiding difficult conversations at work really seven in 10. So I knew it was high. I didn’t think it was that people would rather keep quiet on an important work issue.

Then tackle it head on.

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