Do you have invisible employees on your team?

Here is a statistic that should shed some light: By the end of the first year of service, more than 70 percent of employees think their companies do not care about them or their careers. Gulp.

By Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton

You’re working late again when you hear something outside your door. Tip-tap. Tip-tap.

“Is anyone there?” you ask. You rush into the hall—only to gaze over rows of endless empty cubicles. Just silence.

You sit back down at your computer and look at today’s productivity report. Sure enough, your team’s output was almost the same as yesterday. Tip-tap. There’s that noise again. And then you realize it's the clock on the wall—the only sound in the building. And you also realize you’re wasting your time reading progress reports that never change. It’s as if your employees aren’t giving much extra effort at all.

Yes, there’s a crisis in business today: Invisible employees. They show up. Their timecards and attendance records prove it. They do their jobs. Your company is surviving. But you never seem to move forward. Why?

Here’s a statistic that should shed some light: By the end of the first year of service, more than 70 percent of employees think their companies don’t care about them or their careers. Gulp.

You can go ahead and argue this point, but let’s say the survey was off by 10 percent, or even twenty. Those are still big enough numbers to deem this situation A Full Blown Corporate Crisis. The short of it is this: when employees feel ignored and unappreciated, they don’t give their best work. They wonder why they should care about their company if their organization doesn’t care about them. They show up on time, and disappear just in time. They expose their faces, talents and skills just enough to show up again tomorrow. And when they’re in the shadows—the dark places where management will never see them—they grumble, moan and reveal their escape routes to other employees.

You may even have a few invisibles working for you.

And yet what if you could convince every single employee in your organization to bring their best attitude, skillset, talent and potential to work? What would your productivity report look like? Progress? You better believe it. The tip-tap you hear outside your door will instantly become a thumping orchestra of people producing—an anthem of achievement.

Impossible? Not at all. In fact, we see it happen in organizations large and small around the world—so much so that we wrote a book about it, aptly called The Invisible Employee. That’s the coolest part. We’ve sat face to face with many of the world’s best managers from the biggest and best companies. These are people who have mastered the art of inspiring others to really make some noise—moving their teams and companies from ordinary to extraordinary by applying three simple steps:


  • Set a guiding vision: Most managers believe they’ve already done this; however, ask their employees and you’ll get an entirely different response. Learn how to master the idea of setting and articulating clear goals.

  • See employee achievements that move your organization toward its goals: Managers who actively See outperform those who don’t. Learn how to exercise your vision (FYI, Carrots do help) in strategic areas and you’ll gain a perspective shared only by the best managers in the world.
  • Celebrate achievements: Here’s the secret sauce that can move mountains. Great managers appreciate the small and large efforts that move their teams forward. This recipe must be honed, practiced, and perfected.

To help you get there, we’re proud to introduce the newly expanded second edition of The Invisible Employee. Amid the pages we’ve sprinkled case studies of real leaders who manage employees in ways that make those people feel valued and engaged. You’ll also get new data that shows how to motivate employees in any economy—even if your company has taken a few hard hits over the past year. And you’ll read a new section on “onboarding” new hires—enhancing speed to productivity and building loyalty and focus.