Once again, the Gallup organizations has released its annual “State Of The American Workplace” report, confirming that 7 out of 10 Americans merely “show up” on Monday morning and are not engaged in their work.
Once again, a gigantic socially consequential story, ignored by the press, emerges as the continuing under-achievement of our American potential.
Once again, nobody seems to care that solutions to global warming, world hunger, new cures for diseases and other remedies to human suffering are being delayed because 7 out of 10 Americans merely “show up”, providing little evidence that they care or perhaps feel they cannot make an impact in their corner of society.
Talk about depressing! And this sad reality has not changed for over 20 years, dating back to when Gallup first began compiling the data. Not surprisingly, America is the bright spot in the world. Other societies are even less engaged in their work!
To be clear, American workers have good reason to disengage. This failure lies at the feet of our leaders. Gallup’s report confirms that 7 out of 10 of our American leaders don’t seem to care and certainly don’t evidence the skills necessary to reverse these percentages. Those 30% on the right side of the worker engagement line understand that this is not that difficult to get right—and that the imperative is urgent.
Gallup identifies “12 Elements of Engagement” that can be categorized from a worker’s perspective into two broad domains: relationship driven and immediate job driven.
|Relationship Driven||Immediate Job Driven|
|In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work.||I know what is expected of me at work.|
|My supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person.||I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right.|
|There is someone at work who encourages my development.||At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.|
|At work, my opinions seem to count.||This last year, I have had opportunities at work to learn and grow.|
|The mission or purpose of my company makes me feel my job is important.|
|My associates or fellow employees are committed to doing quality work.|
|I have a best friend at work.|
|In the last six months someone at work has talked to me about my progress.|
Fairly reasonable, right? These requests do not require the brilliance of a rocket scientist to engineer delivery solutions.
And why wouldn’t satisfying these requests be like falling out of bed in the morning? Those under the category of driven by ones current job simply require a little thought in organizational design, articulating job expectations, understanding each workers natural strengths and building supportive infrastructure. While these elements require some skill, they are not that tough.
A Fusion Leader understands that the most common failings that result in dis-engaged works occur in the domain of relationships. A Fusion Leader understands that relationships thrive when everyone in the organization places the organization’s purpose at an equal level to their own self-interests, especially the self-interests of the leader. That “fuses” people together around the organization’s purpose. That inspires; and, that engages!
Importantly, the challenge of creating engaged works can be viewed more simply than attempting to memorize and act upon each of these twelve elements. When leaders undertake a pattern of behavior that “fuses” their teams together, by definition, they are creating engaged workers.