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Disengaged Employees? We Have The Antidote

conscious leadership Dec 03, 2021

A 2019 Gallup report showed that the percentage of “not-engaged” and “actively disengaged” employees has hit 65% in the global workforce. This is nothing less than a malaise, a real illness that is affecting workplaces around the world. 

What does it mean when an employee spends 8+ hours, or a third of their day, not engaged or actively disengaged? It means they are only showing up for a paycheck, they aren’t committed to your business and are likely not loyal. This is obviously a huge risk to your business, from employee absences to unreliability and even mistakes and theft. 

And who is at fault for this sweeping dissatisfaction? In the majority of instances, it lies with leadership. Leaders control the environment, not the employees and leaders have the power to change the culture and create an environment where everyone thrives. And by thrive, I mean they love where they work and who they work with but they also have a known purpose to their work.  By using The Culture Fix® Fulfillment roadmap, leaders can develop an environment where their employees are engaged, loyal and fulfilled. And all it takes is a caring cultural definition that is alive and thriving and being used to drive performance. And while it only requires a modest investment, it comes with a huge return, therefore delivering a massive ROC or return on culture. 

The same Gallup report showed that the percentage of "engaged" workers in the U.S. reached 35%, (sadly) a record high since they started tracking the metric two decades ago. In their report they share several trends sweeping workplaces, many of which you may recognize as core concepts to The Culture Fix. For those of you who may still be new to your journey as a Culture Czar®, read on to learn about the factors identified by Gallup as key to these improvements.  

From their report, Gallup found that high-development cultures have the following four qualities: 

  1. They are CEO & Board initiated

  2. They educate managers on new ways of managing -- moving from a culture of "boss" to "coach”

  3. They practice company wide communication

  4. They hold managers accountable

As you may already know, implementing The Culture Fix in your organization heavily relies on embracing it from the top, down & teaching managers to identify the strengths of team members in order to build on those strengths to achieve success. We couldn't agree more with the observation that top leaders “know that their attitudes, beliefs and behaviors have a powerful cascading effect on their organization's culture. Leaders of great workplaces don't just talk about what they want to see in the management ranks -- they live it.” This also connects to the 4th factor that they present: holding these same managers just as accountable as each and every other stakeholder in the organization - think EOS® to address 3&4! Overall, these three observations really bring home the point that embracing culture-first practices from the top-down is the only way to create long-lasting organizational value. 

Finally, the emphasis on company-wide communication and collection of ‘best-practices’ are indicated as equally important in building trust and setting reliable expectations for stakeholders organization-wide. Some of these best practices may be turned into your CoreVals™, and many of them will be recognized via your employee nomination system and company-wide shoutouts. Wherever these best-practices end up living or how they are communicated, the quality and consistency of the recognition makes a huge difference in your business. 

Throughout the two decades that Gallup has measured this metric, they have completed nine meta-analyses of the relationship between team engagement and performance, with the most recent study including more than 80k teams in 230 organizations -- and 1.8 million employees. They found that team members with higher levels of engagement:

  • Produce substantially better outcomes

  • Treat customers better and attract new ones

  • Are more likely to remain with their organization than those who are less engaged

What is there to lose from running a culture-first organization? Nothing! And in addition to yielding the highest ROI, it is also a great way to have meaningful fun with your team. Meaningful because it tends to our human nature and their feelings and goes a lot further than simply having a beer with them. If you have been waiting to take the leap into leading a culture-first team, what are you waiting for? Please reach out to Will Scott at [email protected]


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