In the excerpt, Messrs Zenger and Folkman are confirming something that can be widely observed: the one factor, above all others, that affects employee engagement most significantly is the quality and nature of the immediate supervisor.
Employees who are full of enthusiasm and zest for their work generally have good, decent and well-intentioned supervisors; employees who are passive and listless are, on average, poorly supervised.
Two reasons can be posited. First, a bad boss negates all the other factors. None of the other motivators matter much if every daily interaction with a nasty boss is a pain in the behind.
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