Nov 15, 2022
“20% of employees in the workplace in the U.S. strongly agree that they trust the leadership of their organization. And that's the highest correlation with another really important item that we ask right now, whether employees feel that their organization cares about their overall well being. That's related to burnout, and it's a really important perception. Because if people do feel that you care about their well being, they're much more likely to stay,” explains Jim Harter, chief data scientist for workplace management and wellbeing at Gallup. Today he discusses the data behind quiet quitting and the Great Resignation and what managers and leaders can do to improve employee engagement.
Jim shares that employee engagement has been tracked back to 2000 and the numbers have stayed relatively the same, but the difference is in the boldness of employees to be more vocal against their organizations and managers. COVID provided an opportunity for people to step back and reflect on their positions and see whether their values actually aligned with their duties and the values of the organization. This has led to a lot of people switching jobs, disengaging from their jobs in a form of ‘quiet quitting’, or just fully resigning from their positions. According to the data, most Americans do not believe their leadership is trustworthy or cares about their wellbeing. Managers can greatly improve employee engagement and retention by building trust and changing how they approach management to focus on the needs of their people. More and more people are struggling with burnout and managers have a chance to offset this if they take action to provide necessary support, tools, and role clarity to their employees.
The COVID pandemic has shifted a lot in regard to the relationship between employers and employees. There is an overall decrease in engagement on a global scale that needs to be addressed by those in leadership positions. In order to combat disengagement and increase employee retention, managers must be willing to pivot and take new approaches with the members of their teams. In turn, these managers must themselves be managed in a way that provides them with the tools they need to meet their emboldened employees’ expectations.
“There's more of a boldness so that even though about half of people have been in that quiet quitting category historically, we've been tracking engagement back to 2000 and it's been around that percentage since then. But they're more vocal now, because I think the workplace has a new freedom and I think that had something to do with COVID. And I think that the Great Resignation also had something to do with COVID in that people had a chance to reflect, and sit back and think about what they really want out of their work, and to consider all the other options that are available.” (6:30-7:04 | Jim)
“I think organizations have to pivot in terms of how they think about management. We’ve always known it's important, but how we approach managing from a distance or in hybrid environments is really critical.” (8:07-8:23 | Jim)
“Gen Z and young millennials, people under the age of 35, that particular group has moved more from engaged to actively disengaged. And so they're vocalizing it, they're looking for other opportunities, and they're much more willing to be looking for other jobs.” (8:48-9:05 | Jim)
“How managers are managed themselves is a really important component of how things need to work going forward.” (10:45-10:51 | Jim)
“About one in five people, 20% of employees in the workplace in the U.S. strongly agree that they trust the leadership of their organization. And that's the highest correlation with another really important item that we ask right now, whether employees feel that their organization cares about their overall well being. That's related to burnout, and it's a really important perception. Because if people do feel that you care about their well being, they're much more likely to stay.” (13:45-14:17 | Jim)
“People want to come to work and have a purpose, and they want to come to work and have a role that they're responsible for and clear expectations, they need to have the materials, equipment they need to do their work. They need to have a chance to do what they do best every day. These are basic expectations. If they do something, well, you better recognize them for it, they want credit for it. And there, they should also be someone who gives recognition to others as well. But so it starts with some of the foundational elements of engagement, really, that's where trust begins to be built. If you fail on those, you're gonna have a really tough time building any kind of trust at all.” (17:34-18:10 | Jim)
“I think it's really important that leaders provide managers with the right tools and resources to have the conversations with people to make this new autonomy that people have now kind of a rational autonomy so that it's not just about me, it's also about my co-workers. And it's also about our customers.” (23:59-24:20 | Jim)
“One area that I'd really encourage organizations to ask their employees about, if you're surveying your employees on a regular basis, ask them whether they feel they're treated with respect.” (29:06-29:17 | Jim)
Mentioned in this episode:
Email Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org
Learn more about Jim Harter:
Podcast production and show notes provided by HiveCast.fm