Every year organizations get dismal results from employee engagement surveys. Since the Gallup Organization began surveying workers, the percentage of “engaged  people” has been about 33%. This year is no different.

You hear the alarms sounded by management consultants:

  • “The way we do work isn’t working anymore.”
  • “Business is changing so rapidly, employees can’t keep up.”
  • “Employees are more demanding than before.”
  • “Management practices don’t seem to work anymore.”

“The very practice of management no longer works.” Jim Clifton, CEO, The Gallup Organization

It seems to me that leaders in today’s organizations must gain scientific insight into employees’ evolving wants and needs if they want to learn how to build an exceptional workplace.

That’s why I was glad to download a copy of the latest State of the American Workplace report. In this report, Gallup presents analytics and advice on how to:

  • Design and deliver a compelling and authentic employer brand
  • Take employee engagement from a survey to a cultural pillar that improves performance
  • Approach performance management in ways that motivate employees
  • Offer benefits and perks that influence attraction and retention

This is crucial for all leaders to read because it offers an explanation to the changing state of what employees hold most valuable in their jobs.

Ironically, what employees value are things that are not difficult for leaders to provide. The question then becomes, why aren’t they offering them what they need and want?

Here are a few excerpts from the report from Gallup that I’ve highlighted. I recommend everyone download their own copy here.

State of the American Workplace, Gallup Organization, 2016:

  • The American workforce has more than 100 million full-time employees. 33% of those employees are what Gallup calls “engaged at work.” They love their jobs and make their organization and America better every day.
  • At the other end, 16% of employees are “actively disengaged” — they are miserable in the workplace and destroy what the most engaged employees build.
  • The remaining 51% of employees are “not engaged” — they’re just there.
  • Leaders must do something. They cannot wait for trends to pass them by, and they cannot wait for millennials to start behaving like baby boomers. That won’t happen, this workforce isn’t going to acclimate to the status quo.
  • There is an urgency for leaders to define and convey their vision more clearly – and rally employees around it. The Gallup data reveal an unsettling pattern in the U.S. workplace. Employees have little belief in their company’s leadership.
    • 22% of employees strongly agree the leadership of their organization has a clear direction for the organization.
    • 15% of employees strongly agree the leadership of their organization makes them enthusiastic about the future.
    • 13% of employees strongly agree the leadership of their organization communicates effectively with the rest of the organization.

    These numbers can improve with leader’s renewed commitment to their employees.

The rule book is being rewritten. Leaders must decide what role they want to play in their organization—now, in the midst of change, and in the future. They can be passive bystanders or active participants in creating and guiding an exceptional workplace.

What do you think? What do your organization’s leaders think about this?  As always, I’d love to hear from you. I can be reached at 425-533-4330 or email Marty@VondrellLeadership.com, here or on LinkedIn.