Breaking the cycle of limited engagement and performance

Every year we see over $500B in lost productivity due to one main issue – which is connected to people and how we interact and lead.

Gallup’s annual survey on engagement at the workplace has identified employee engagement continuously around 30%, which means about 70% of today’s US workforce is either passively or actively disengaged (in other words “checked out”).

According to GALLUP, engaged employees look like this and have the following impact on an organization:

“Gallup categorizes workers as “engaged” based on their ratings of key workplace elements …, such as having an opportunity to do what they do best each day, having someone at work who encourages their development and believing their opinions count at work. …. Engaged employees are involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their work. …Employee engagement is strongly connected to ….productivity, profitability and customer engagement. Engaged employees drive the innovation, growth and revenue that their companies need” – Gallup.com, Feb. 8, 2016 –

Engaged employees have a positive multiplier effect on any organization. The notion that engagement directly correlates with growth and profitability has been confirmed years ago in studies like this published in 1994 by Harvard Business Review related to the Service Profit Chain (see below). In summary:  Leadership directly influences employee satisfaction- and productivity which in turn increases customer satisfaction- and loyalty which ultimately leads to higher profits and growth. As described it is a chain, meaning the steps are connected and it all starts at the top.

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How come employee engagement/satisfaction has not improved over the last many years since the numbers came out? How come despite many well intended initiatives, leadership seminars, courses and books on leadership, these numbers have not improved for the benefit of corporations and their employees?

In my opinion there is one area that has been underestimated – that is the power of “homeostasis” of the human mind. Homeostasis meaning a system “standing still”, “staying the same” according to Webster, or in others words “staying in the comfort zone”.  People/Leaders change, when they make the decision to change, not when they are told to.

 “You can not teach a person anything, you can only help them find it within themselves” – Galileo Gallilei

Here is where coaching can make a real difference and bridge the gap between Management and Leadership.

Coaching is a behavior change process that develops people “from the inside out” by working with them to shift mental paradigms and stretch their belief boundaries. Performance is usually consistent with our beliefs. We all have developed many times unconscious beliefs about:

  • Who we are
  • What we are capable of
  • What level of rewards we deserve

Coaching supports people in expanding their unconscious boundaries.

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Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them become what they are capable of being” – Goethe –

 

Let’s train leaders to Build People instead of managing problems!