Gallup released the results of its latest “State of the Global Workplace” report, aggregating feedback from thousands of workers around the world. They found that 60% of employees are emotionally detached at work and 19% are just plain miserable.
Gartner reports that 89% of salespeople say they are burned out.
This could be a problem. Do the disengaged, miserable, and burned-out innovate or drive higher performance? Do they catch errors before they disrupt business and anger customers?
And most importantly for readers of this newsletter, do they have any capacity to embrace change? Not likely.
Engaging the workforce is a challenging problem for leaders, but the solution is straightforward (although challenging to carry out consistently). It includes three elements:
1. Connect people with PURPOSE.
How do their everyday tasks connect to the mission of the organization? What is the final impact on people (customers, clients, community, country)? How are they helping to save lives and livelihoods, or to produce joy?
2. Demonstrate CARE.
If employees are treated like replaceable cogs in a machine, there is no reason for them to engage. If you don’t care about them, why would they care about the job?
There are many ways leaders can express care on a daily basis, from warm greetings and coffee delivery to regular check-ins just to see how they are doing. I encourage leaders to find out their employees’ favorite chocolate bars and place them around the meeting table with their name attached on occasion. This is not hard stuff. A little personal interest goes a long way.
3. TRUST them.
When you trust someone, you give them the latitude to participate in decisions that affect them. Trust means empowerment. That does not excuse leaders from managing risk. Trust doesn’t mean a complete hands-off approach. As Ronald Reagan said, “Trust but verify.”
How would your employees rate you on the three elements? Are you setting them up for success, or yourself up for failure?