Gallup’s new 2017 State of the Workforce report tells us that not much has changed since the last survey in 2014, or frankly, in the last decade and half when Gallup started measuring engagement. Only 33% of U.S. employees are engaged. This rate of engagement rises quite significantly for organizations who place emphasis on being best in class. At the world’s best organizations 70% of employee are engaged! It’s clear the old command-and-control leadership style needs to go out the door. It needs to change to one of high development and ongoing coaching conversations. This is especially evident when you look at the following results. Gallup’s survey found:
- Only 22% of employees strongly agree the leadership of their organization has a clear direction for the organization.
- Only 15% of employees strongly agree the leadership of their organization makes them enthusiastic about the future.
- Only 13% of employees strongly agree the leadership of their organization communicates effectively with the rest of the organization.
Here are a few things employees need from their leaders and organizations:
Purposeful work- The new workforce wants to work for a company whose mission and culture reflects their core values and they won’t settle for one that doesn’t. Take the time to understand employee values and motivators and how those show up in their daily work. Explain to employees how they are making a difference and adding value for your customers, community, culture, company or team.
Know what’s expected of them- Only 6 of 10 employees know what’s expected of them. Clarify performance expectations, discuss progress towards goals and offer coaching and resources to help them succeed. Talk openly about problems or issues and enable employees to develop solutions. Teach leaders how to have tough conversations in a productive manner that leaves the employee feeling encouraged. Today only 21% strongly agrees that their performance is managed in a way that motivates them to do outstanding work. Throw out your annual performance evaluations! Organizations are realizing that more frequent, ongoing coaching conversations may be the missing link in performance management. Employees who have had conversations with their manager in the last six months about their goals and successes are 2.8 times more likely than other employees to be engaged
Opportunities to shine-Determine their strengths and give them opportunities to do what they do best! Provide opportunities for employees to learn and challenge themselves in a way that is exciting to them (ex. lead a meeting or innovative project, attend specialized training, be a mentor/coach.)
Flexibility- 43% of workers surveyed are working remotely at least part of the time. This is up 4% in the last 4 years. Offer flexible job conditions and watch for possible burnout.
Managers must become coaches-Leaders need to shift from performance management to performance development. Last month we talked about the business case for coaching in our blog. Teach your leaders to establish expectations, continually coach and create accountability. Provide them with the tools to become outstanding coaches.
Authentic appreciation-Employees who do not feel adequately recognized are twice as likely as those who do feel adequately recognized to say they'll quit in the next year. This is a big missed opportunity for many. Learn how each employee likes to be recognized. Emphasize why the act was important and the impact it had. The best recognize employees every 7 days! This month is employee appreciation day. How will you let your team know that they are cherished?