We live in a world where people don’t feel connected, don’t feel empowered and struggle with finding meaning in the work they do. Given that ten to fourteen hours, and sometimes more, are given up for work each day, there is a strong desire to have a meaningful experience at work.
The numbers speak for themselves. In 2019, 34% of the workforce are actively engaged. 53% are not engaged, meaning they come to work, do the minimum and are ready to jump ship if a better offer comes their way. 13% are totally disengaged, which has improved from 2016 when it was 16%.
There are three types of employees. Engaged, Not Engaged and Disengaged. For the engaged employee they are passionate and feel a profound connection to the organization. They are innovators and socially active. (34%) In the Not Engaged category, these employees are filling time. They sleepwalk through the day, and wait for their paycheck at the end of the month. (53%) Then there are people who are totally Disengaged who undermine the work of others, who are frequently negative, and are clearly unhappy but don’t leave, and frequently create negative impressions for the company. (13%) The ones who need the most encouragement, and opportunities for growth are in the majority.
The three fundamental needs of every human being are the need to belong, the need for empowerment and the need for meaning. These factors are critical for us to perform at our best, and keep us connected to people and the work we do in a meaningful way.
These are an untapped opportunity for companies to improve performance and profitability. But first, they must recognize that strategically engaging workers must be a priority if the company is to grow and thrive. If companies truly believe that employees are their best assets, then the care and support of their growth and development should be number one priority.
Let’s get something clear. We have been documenting modern human behavior since the earliest of times, which came into full focus with the Greeks. They perfected the rules of behavior through the worship of Gods, and later in the intellectual speculations of Aristotle and Plato, as well as many others. Biblical stories are also a great compendium of behaviors that were acceptable, or not, and we thrived by adhering to these philosophies and tenets of how to live a good life. Prior to the Greeks, Egyptians, Mesopotamians, Babylonians, ancient Hebrews and other cultures wrestled with these ideas. It's the old cliche of the more things change, the more they stay the same.
When I became a coach I had a lifetime of deep experiences that did not include working a corporate job. I had eschewed that route because I didn’t feel it was a good fit. I was too much the rebel, the maverick who wanted to do it my way, and conforming to other rules and regulations felt constricting. Later in life, when I found myself coaching senior executive women, I realized that while they had taken the vertical path up the ladder, I had chosen the horizontal path of the road less taken of divergent experiences, and they expressed the desire that they could have had more freedom to explore what that looked like. In turn, I was somewhat envious of their seemingly secure positions, which had escaped me because of the uncertain path I had chosen. The grass is always greener etc..
In 2009, when I published The Fearless Factor, I hoped it would inspire others to make important life changes. Written specifically for women who struggled with fear which had left an indelible impact on their confidence, potential, and relationships, the book highlighted my own journey to overcome the fear that had kept me from fulfilling my potential, and led me to make some disastrous choices that took me on an adventure of self-discovery that would eventually transform my life.
What I discovered through this journey of change is that the greatest fear of most individuals is simple. I’m not good enough, or, “I’m not lovable”, and frankly, they are both the same. With that in mind, we self-sabotage, look for examples that prove it, and generally under-perform. Frankly, it’s a waste. We are all much more than we think we are.
As a certified consultant for Human Synergistics International, I have debriefed dozens of 360° assessments designed to measure behavior in individuals, and organizations. These scientific tools analyze specific behaviors that help individuals and organizations make measurable improvements at work, and in their personal lives.
In all cases, I have found a degree of fear operating below the surface of the behaviors that keep individuals from living and working to their highest levels of engagement. When we think about the number of people who are not engaged (53%) in the workplace, we find that many of these behaviors work against their own interests, and undermine almost every aspect of their existence, as well as the impact on the organization itself. What would it look like if everyone brought their best self to work?
My work with entrepreneurs, senior executives and employees in large and small companies has proven one thing. It doesn’t matter what role you play in life, the underlying behavioral patterns have a great deal of similarity. The only variances are the degree to which these behaviors are impacting your potential and accomplishments in life. With this in mind, I wanted to create a guide for people in the workplace to use as a springboard to accelerate their own changes, and claim their role as a leader more effectively. Like life, it's a work in progress and I hope to have it completed by next Spring.
If this is something you care about, and would like some help I'm here to assist. It's not rocket science. Just show up, be honest with yourself, ask difficult questions, and find the answers you're looking for. Easy!
FYI: Just putting this out is a fearless act that I hope is well-received. Please leave a comment for me. It's very helpful.
The Millennial generation will be fully engaged in leadership by the year 2025 as more of the former generations retire or take a secondary position. Over the next six years, companies will invest millions of dollars in the development of their managers and will also spend billions on hiring and retention. But here's the rub. Corporate training is a $160 billion industry covering small to gigantic businesses. Unfortunately, the investment may not render the results they are looking for.
Dr. Robert Brinkerhoff, author of Telling Trainer's Story published a study in his book that shows 15% of people don't try a new concept after they have learned it, and 70% try but fail or give up. This means that only 15% of the individuals engaged in the learning establish permanent change as a result of it. Other experts have stated that only 10% of corporate training sticks!
As a coach, I love working with Millennial clients. They are eager to learn, willing to try new things, examine their limitations, and if they believe in the company and its values, they will go to great lengths to make sure everyone is successful. They are hard working, and are proactive when achieving company goals. In return, they want autonomy; and a certain amount of freedom to design their work life the way they want, especially as they raise a young family. With both parents working juggling the time and logistics of parenting is challenging, and they want the company they work for to honor that. They also want respect. When senior leaders show genuine interest in them, they are rewarded with loyalty.
The myth that millennials don't stay long at a job is skewed toward people who are unhappy. Just as they are with any other generation. In fact, according to a Pew Research study GenX'rs changed jobs more frequently than Millennials, and education has everything to do with it. More millennials are college educated than previous generations, and are making better decisions.
The unfortunate fact is that many millennials are unhappy with how their leadership skills are developed. They feel that there is a sink or swim attitude at many companies, and they are unlikely to stay with a job that doesn't recognize many of the elements I outlined above. Taking the time to find out what millennials need to succeed on the job is critical. An organization that offers learning opportunities, collaboration, open communication, flexibility and work/life integration, will increase their loyalty and trust and will effectively increase engagement and productivity to help the individual and the company grow successfully to meet their goals.
The bottom line is this. Take time to find out what your millennial employees need and want. Give them the tools and the support they need to be the best they can be. If you need help, contact me to find out what we can offer to help your people grow.
Creating a high-performance culture means developing consistent habits, messages and performances throughout the organization. Simple, but rarely easy. That’s why you need a trusted advisor who has the right tools, experience and insights to help you create a plan to accomplish your vision of what a company can be.
The process for development is quite easy. You start at the top coaching one leader effectively, and then coaching people in each successive layer to spread and reinforce the culture change.
Simple, but not easy!
Many organizations make a number of mistakes including:
True culture change requires serious work from the top downwards. Top leaders need to take a look at how they are contributing to the current culture, how they are showing up as leaders, what they are tolerating and take a hard look at behaviors and attitudes that are undermining the organization.
A culture expresses itself through the habits and behaviors of its people. Too many times leaders expect the layers below them to make changes first. This only creates cynical employees, and a strong feeling of uncertainty.
If you are lucky enough to work with leaders who understand the amount of work, introspection and courage required to change a culture, you can help accelerate the change.
When leaders take their own change seriously, it signals a strong message to others that the changes are significant, and they should start to notice. The process usually moves ahead with one-on-one and team meetings, giving specific feedback to each employee, and offering the opportunity to explore and discover the necessary changes.
When a leader is coached, and they are effective, they then take these skills to the people below them. Being a model for change, leaders communicate their vision and expectations which inspires confidence and trust in direct reports.
Innerfluence specializes in developing effective leaders, innovative teams, and positive workplace cultures to advance clarity of purpose, trust in leadership, and empowerment of employees. Please contact us for more information on how we can help your organization to succeed.
Scene: The team is working on a massive 2020 plan and the manager is struggling to get everyone committed to the process. The ones who are committed, are proactive, and can generate lots of ideas and actions. They are great producers and everyone depends on them. But there may be some who appear to have lots of conflict, and while you may have tried every which way to engage them, nothing seems to work. As a result you are behind schedule, and everyone feels the strain.
Some of the challenges may include:
Ask yourself the following questions:
At Innerfluence we take a comprehensive view of management effectiveness, and almost always, we find at least one area where the individual manager or executive has an insight that leads to measurable gains in performance – along with greater satisfaction and career potential.
If you would like to discuss your team effectiveness goals give us a call (646) 241 7115 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Change is normal
Change is a normal state of affairs. Knowing how to fulfill your potential is a process of building new habits in behavior and thought. You might find some ideas here worth thinking about!