Straight talk – Connecting leaders with employees

I’m just reading the Towers Watson 2014 report on the Global Workforce.  Some real insights that could impact companies significantly in the next year.

The headlines: A) the disconnect between what employees want from work and what management thinks they want B) Lack of trust and engagement with immediate managers C) Motivation.

Surprised?  I’m not. With the economy strengthening, employees are saying what they’ve held back on the last few years.   In the Top 5, employees want learning and development, job security and paid time off.  Employers did not have any of these in the top 5. Instead employers thought employees valued the mission/vision/values.  Sorry, not interested.

Some quick advice. Think about how simple it is to retain your talent.  Offer them ways to continue to grow and develop – you’ll have a better trained and motivated employee.  Don’t be so quick to layoff.  And be generous in your time off policies.  If employees are expected to be “on call” 24/7 or working “whatever it takes,” then give them the time they need to recharge.

Only 40% of employees are highly engaged.  The rest feel either unsupported (54% report managers do not remove obstacles), detached or disengaged.  We can do better.  There are more “working managers” today than ever – even at the executive ranks. I’ve talked to leaders who are not just managing and directing, they are doing work too. Perhaps because of this ramp up/do more culture, we’re missing opportunities to engage with our workforce.

Motivation.  Today, employees are looking to be treated as customers.  We’ve paid lip service to that for a long time.  It’s time to move towards action. A motivated, engaged worker is a better face for the company, more committed and more apt to go out of their way to ensure the customer is satisfied.  We need to remove obstacles so they can do this. We need to build trust and give trust to our employees on the front lines.

This is the perfect time – end of one calendar year and soon the start of a new one – to strengthen your relationship, policies, and engagement with your employees and set yourself up for greater success in 2015.  You can read about the study here.

About hprager

Father, husband, brother and son. Delighted to be friends and mentor to so many wonderful people. Passionate about: leadership, learning and development, education, nature and the environment, youth, music, jazz, the tuba, Israeli dancing, networking and helping others, humor, laughter, swimming, hiking, the Cubs, Northwestern athletics, theater, musicals, concerts, traveling and making new friends wherever I go. Helping the world be a better place when I leave it.
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