Beware the Ego
As a CEO or senior leader in business, it is hard not to let ego get in the way and to ASSUME that the business is doing well and that the engagement levels are sitting at the 70-80% level. It can often be hard for the leader to deal with being told that the team is probably more like 40-50% engaged and that there are a number of the team that are highly disengaged and holding the team back. This ‘reality gap’, the gap between the LEADERS view of the business and the ACTUAL state of the business comes about over time as a business grows and changes.
Ironically in our experience, this ‘reality gap’ often manifests in the business as the leaders themselves becoming disengaged with the vision and mission that the organisation once chartered. Chartering the course for the boat is one of the key functions of the leadership team and that disengagement is particularly infectious. Good, after all, is the Enemy of Great.
You’re not alone.
Gallup’s workplace analytics identifies immense room for businesses to experience productivity gains through engaging their workforce. Worldwide the percentage of adults who work full time and are engaged at work is just 15%. This low percentage of engaged employees, those that are highly involved and enthusiastic about their work and workplace imply an incredible waste of potential particularly when one considers that the top quartile in their study were 17% more productive and 21% more profitable.
Using the analogy of a boat with 10 sailors on board, this means that on average in Australia, sitting at the front of the boat paddling strongly in the desired direction sit 3 people. Only THREE people are highly productive, involved and engaged in the BUSINESS of the BOAT. In the middle of the boat, we’d have 5 people disengaged, doing just what the job description suggests, nothing more nothing less. And at the back of the boat, yes we’ve all seen them the highly disengaged 2-3 sailors doing less than is expected, being paid for effort they’ve YET to expend or CONTRIBUTE, holding back the BUSINESS of the BOAT like anchors or internal saboteurs.
Here’s where the earlier ‘BEWARE THE EGO’ kicks in. Few leaders wish to acknowledge that they need to address this REALITY GAP. What got the BOAT to be successful in the first place is no longer working. The organisation has been slow to adapt and the spread of Information Technology, globalisation for products and services, hyper-competitiveness, the rise of the GIG economy and the unique expectation of the younger generations means that what got us HERE won’t get us THERE.
Turnover starts to climb, those at the front of the boat (often the owners) are working harder, the highly disengaged or ‘squeaky wheels get the oil’ and those that could be enthused to engage in their unique contribution and the MISSION of the boat, risk becoming ‘squeaky wheels’ needing the oil or they simply MOVE on. Clients get disillusioned and request better service, those trying to ‘ROW’ the boat ROW harder but often feel unsupported leading to internal turf wars which soon leads to a ‘siloed departmental mentality’ fuelled by internal feuding.
Your organisation has a DISENGAGEMENT challenge.
Be the Leader they need Now
Your role is now more important than ever before. Your challenge is to get your boat heading in the right direction, your people highly engaged. To do this you’ve got to inspire your teams to raise their own ‘BAR’ and charter together a course for the boat that ‘ALL OF YOU’ can see. We can help you by sharing with you the ENGAGE AND GROW 6 Steps to actually activate and build Employee Engagement:
Evaluate > Buy-in > Unite > Align > Engage > Grow
Be ENGAGED and find out more at our upcoming Seminar: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/workplace-engagement-seminar-tickets-64348387760