Gallup, the research-based, global performance-management consulting company, has been measuring employee engagement data for nearly two decades, and the numbers have remained dismal. In an opinion piece released last month, Gallup CEO Jim Clifton said this:
Only 15% of the world’s one billion full-time workers are engaged at work. It is significantly better in the U.S., at around 30% engaged, but this still means that roughly 70% of American workers aren’t engaged. It would change the world if we did better.
What the whole world wants is a good job, and we are failing to deliver it — particularly to millennials. This means human development is failing, too. Most millennials are coming to work with great enthusiasm, but the old management practices — forms, gaps and annual reviews — grinds the life out of them.
If you’re in a leadership role, the first step to high engagement is to assess your own perception of how your employees feel. To start, ask yourself these 6 management questions to help you diagnose the situation.
6 questions to ask yourself
If you can answer all six of these questions with a resounding “yes,” you passed the engagement test and may be well on your way to helping to release discretionary effort across the organization.
- Do your employees believe that you want to hear their ideas and will value them?
- Do your employees understand how their daily work helps accomplish the organization’s goals?
- Do your employees communicate their ideas and vision for the organization when you are around?
- Do you frequently acknowledge and recognize each employee for his or her contribution — in ways that matter most to each?
- Do they believe that you are committed to helping them develop and grow?
- Do you regularly offer career path guidance to your people?
What to do next…
If these questions confirm what you already know to be truth, be ready to take action with intent. Effective engagement stems from a mindset of wanting to best meet the needs of each employee so they are equipped to succeed. In turn, they will give you their best work. This can only happen when mutual trust, respect, encouragement, and affirmation are clearly displayed along the way.
This article was originally written by Marcel Schwantes, a principal and founder of Leadership From the Core, a leading provider of servant-leadership training and coaching designed to create healthy, engaged, and profitable work cultures.