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Some interesting data on successful leadership came out of a fairly recent Gallup poll, which suggests a change in approach could more than double work engagement and, therefore, productivity.

The worldwide poll of full-time employees established that only 20% are engaged in their work.

Furthermore, managers report higher stress and burnout levels than their team members do.

This all points to some serious shortcomings in current management practice.

So is there a better way than the endless form-filling that goes with the annual (or biannual) appraisal process? Are the current ‘attractions’ of free snacks, destressing and games rooms, and so on, really adding value to employees’ work environments?

It appears not, as what Gallup discovered through analysing an incredible 100 million employee interviews is that in no less than 70% of cases, the difference between the highest- and lowest-engage employees is the manager.

That’s correct – the manager makes all the difference!

And what is it that the best managers do differently?

They coach, rather than just direct.

What came out of the survey is that what employees today most value – especially the Millennials and Generation Z – is a job where they can learn and grow. They’re looking for management that takes an interest in them, their goals and their progression.

It’s time to change management practices. Rather than those very stressful – for both parties –  (bi)annual appraisals, with all the forms, and measurement of the little things in the job rather than the job being done itself, move management to having weekly coaching conversations with each report. They don’t have to be formal – they can be in person or on the phone (or Zoom). They can be in the hallway or the coffee area.

What matters is the content – discussing goals (theirs and the company’s), progress towards them and what they need to continue to make progress.

The old mantra of “Do as I say” no longer works and is, in fact, counter-productive, leading to people leaving the company. And businesses can’t afford this, especially in these days of “The Great Resignation.”

Imagine, too, what a doubling of productivity among your current staff can do for your business…

So, while perhaps this will need some training for your management team, the return on this fairly small investment will be enormous. It will also reduce their stress levels, as they won’t be facing the ‘revolving door’ of staff issues, while the increased productivity will help them achieve their goals. And, as the business leader, lead from the front on this.

Take a leaf from the sports industry and treat employees like valuable team members – maximising their strengths, minimising their weaknesses and coaching them to great performance.

It will be worth it.


#BusinessFitness #Coaching #GoalSetting #Leadership #Learning #Management #Motivation #People #Productivity #Teams #Training


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