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In 2017 Harvard Business Review surveyed some 14500 workers across many American industries and found that just 15% said they were working at their full potential (as many as 16% said they were working at under 50% of it)!

What’s more, as this HBR article shows, no less than 80% of organizational output us from the top 20% of the workforce, across a wide range of tasks, industries and businesses.

Imagine the effect on your business if all your staff were working at their full potential!

The 2017 research showed that employees who report working to their full potential look for a list of personal, interpersonal and organisational factors, including:

  • Clarity on role and expectations of them, combined with not being overwhelmed with rules on how to do things and with unproductive meetings;
  • A culture that encourages questions, and supports input to problem solving, rewarding and recognising employees for a job well done;
  • Managers who understand how decisions will affect employees, acknowledge these and help them manage their feelings;
  • Seeing meaning and purpose in their work, and have commitment to the business.

And it really is the leadership of the business that sets the tone – not just in terms of the basics like rules and regulations, but the all-important one of culture, of management involvement.

Despite employee relationships with their management being by far the most important factor in job satisfaction, over 70% of employees say that spending time with their manager is the most stressful time of the week, according to McKinsey, with the company then citing another survey in this article that shows a very clear correlation between job satisfaction and relations between management and employees.

For example, where these relations are described as Very Good, no less than 74% of employees are very or completely satisfied with their job. This drops sharply to 43% job satisfaction where relations are Quite Good, to 21% where they are Neutral and to just 15% where they are Quite Bad to Very Bad.

And, of course, these issues will be magnified in the new hybrid working models, where distance can complicate relationships even more.

It’s clear from this research that the key to dramatically improved productivity in a business lies in the hands of the leadership. Foster an open, participative culture with clear communication and productivity will flourish, reducing costs, management time and boosting profitability.


#BusinessFitness #JobSatisfaction #Leadership #Management #Motivation #Productivity #Teams #WorkLifeBalance


Some of my other recent short articles on leadership and motivation that might be of interest include:

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