Again and again, in survey after survey and poll after poll we are reminded that there is a low level of employee 'engagement'. A 'low level of engagement' is a euphemism for 'employees don't give a ----!'
At its worst about 7 years ago the results suggested that as many as 68% of employees were in this category. By 'employees' we are not talking just about the unwashed masses but a significant number of supervisory/managerial types as well. Is it any wonder that so many organizations are simply spinning their wheels and consistently under-performing their best in class competitors?
If you do not count yourself amongst this group then you are exceptional...or exceptionally naïve.
To be certain, the reasons that create this environment vary from company to company. But the root of the problems can generally be traced back to a fundamental lack of leadership. We train individuals in the skill sets necessary to perform a function but there is a decided lack of training in how to motivate others. Often times our leaders do not even know what motivates others and thus have nowhere to even begin.
Leadership is not for the weak of heart any more than it is for the courageous.
It has been said `…it is not that leadership has been tried and found wanting. Rather it has been found difficult and left untried…`
The consequences of a disengaged workforce are difficult to fully quantify. However, let me use this analogy.
Assume that you have a boat with 10 people and 10 oars. If our statistics are even close to accurate then a maximum of 6 individuals - perhaps as few as 3 or 4 - have their oars in the water and are pulling towards the desired destination. The others are mostly dead weight. Or worse...their oars are in the water pulling in the opposite direction. How's that for productivity??????
If you do not make it a priority to have advanced leadership qualities at ALL levels of your organization, even the best strategies will fail.
People drive success! It`s not objectives, not key indicators; not strategic plans, not even good intentions. Failure is almost always linked to underperforming leadership. Improvement will not happen overnight. We need to move the needle so that we grow from management to 'manageship' to 'leaderment' to leadership.
If this problem resonates with you, do something. If you feel lost, get professional advice or find a mentor. It’s time to get all the oars in the water and pulling together! Remember, effective leadership must become a habit, not an act but the dividends are worth the effort.