You know how it is. Things are good with your team; everything’s clicking, spirits are high, and productivity is higher… until suddenly it isn’t. Suddenly, things feel off. You’re not sure what’s wrong; you just know something is.
Employee engagement is a measure of how committed and invested an employee is in their job and organization. And we all know that engaged employees are productive employees. They are also less likely to leave your company. So, it’s pretty darn important.
But if it starts to decline, it can be a slippery slope. By the time leadership starts to see and feel the impact, it could take a long time to regain traction and turn the problem around.
So, what do you do when employee engagement starts to dip?
Here are 8 things to do as soon as you see or feel the decline in employee engagement:
Like any problem, the best place to start is the root cause. Why is engagement declining? You can do this by conducting employee surveys, focus groups, or one-on-one meetings. Until you know the why behind the downward slide, it could be challenging or even impossible to fix. Plus, the last thing you want to do is waste time going down the wrong path.
Most issues boil down to communication problems. Be sure you have not stopped keeping employees informed. Be clear on the organization’s goals, plans, and progress. As people, we want to be in the know; we need to know what’s going on around us. Open, honest transparency is a foundational requirement of fully engaged teams.
If you want committed, engaged employees, be sure you are engaged and committed as well. Employees will be more inclined to happily follow a positive, engaged leader. Positive energy is infectious…in a good way!
Be sure to keep your pulse on the engagement of the organization so you always know where it stands. Measure engagement levels using the same methods we discussed in number 1… focus groups, surveys, and one-on-one meetings. Doing this continuously means you’ll see issues before they become full-blown problems and hopefully before they negatively impact engagement.
When you hear about issues from your employees, take action to resolve them. Knowing is only half the battle. Now, you need a plan to tackle the issue. Nothing happens without effort. When your team sees you take real steps to solve problems, it can’t help but start the rebuilding process.
Career development is often a high priority for employees. That means if you ignore development, engagement will surely decline. Always give your team opportunities to grow. If they can’t move forward with you, they could look to move forward elsewhere.
And forward motion doesn’t necessarily mean upward motion into leadership. Not everyone wants to lead, but they do want to grow, learn, and provide more value to the organization. It could be a lateral move to a new department. Or it could be adding new levels of expertise to the current role. Internal mobility is a great strategy for development.
We might get tired of hearing this phrase, but it’s that important. A burnt-out team is not an effective or productive team. Be sure you are encouraging your staff to disconnect and take time off. Everyone needs to recharge their batteries.
Look for ways to show appreciation for the contributions and achievements of your team. Motivation is the engine that powers the actions of your team.
That’s why knowing the inherent motivators of the individuals on your team is the key to keeping them engaged.
Most people are familiar with pre-employment personality assessments, but did you know that same tool can be used for talent retention and employee development? An informative, practical tool, like an Omnia behavioral assessment test, gives managers a clear, helpful guide to the personality traits and tendencies of each person on their team. It puts the power to motivate them from a place that is meaningful to them right into your hands.
For example, if you have a shy, detailed person on your team, they are motivated by concrete feedback. They like data and details and can feel disconcerted by public recognition, especially if they are put on the spot with no warning. These individuals can feel that general praise is disingenuous. When looking to recognize one of these team members, be detailed about the task or project. Talk specifically about what went well and why. Consider a private conversation or note. If a public announcement is necessary, let them know that you want to talk about their accomplishment at the meeting so they can fortify their naturally reserved nature. They will appreciate your thoughtfulness more than you know.
On the flip side, competitive social extroverts are extremely motivated by public recognition. They will thrive when called out in a public setting and could find surprises even more exhilarating. That’s not to say you wouldn’t provide details on what went right and why it was valuable — you definitely should — but putting a fun, social spin on the recognition will go a long way. The social aspect is what they will find inspirational.
Everyone loves to be recognized and appreciated, just not in the same way. When leadership takes the time to know what works at an individualized level, it is more meaningful to the employee and a better long-term strategy for keeping the fires of employee engagement stoked.
Plus, the Omnia behavioral assessment is quick, accurate, and user-friendly. In less than 10 minutes, managers and employees have data at their fingertips for opening lines of communication, improving relationships, and understanding their teammates better than ever. A connected team is an engaged team!
Even if you’re not an active TikTok user, it’s likely you’ve heard the term Quiet Quitting. The phenomenon has been the subject of news segments, articles, and a popular speaking topic on the conference circuit. You can even find enough t-shirt options on Etsy to build an entire wardrobe out of quiet quitting wear while gaining valuable insight into what it looks like in today’s pop culture.
There is some internet debate about when the term originated. Some are crediting economist Mark Boldger for first referencing the term at a conference in 2009. Before it really caught steam, Bryan Creely, a corporate recruiter and career coach, posted a video explaining a seismic shift underway in the corporate workplace. Those who had grown up in the hustle culture with an incessant need to work, work, work were shifting their focus from climbing the corporate ladder to prioritizing work-life balance. Employees in the lead seat during the tough hiring times were starting to do the bare minimum to maintain their position, and companies desperate to hire were saying the minimum amount was better than no amount. And then the term took on a life of its own when TikTok user @zaidleppelin posted a video describing quiet quitting and denouncing hustle culture. In one month, it got more than 3 million views, according to KnowYourMeme.com.
After it went viral, everywhere I turned people were talking about it and asking our Omnia team to comment on it. At first, I mistook the meaning of it based on misguided assumptions, which I’m often prone to jump on. I thought it meant “quit and stay,” which was a term an executive at my former company would say back in the early 2000’s referring to people who were doing less than the bare minimum — those who had completely checked out but hadn’t officially quit. The more I dug into it, though, the more I realized it was quite different and something to pay more attention to. Although I still see it as a viral reaction to an age-old problem, the core of the issue is people are quiet quitting because they aren’t engaged, motivated, or feeling valued. It’s not limited to a certain generation, and it’s not a leader vs. employee issue. And yet it is pervasive, and we need to address it if we want to have thriving businesses.
The data on quiet quitting is concerning. A recent poll from Gallup indicates that quiet quitters make up 50% of the workforce today. Many quiet quitters fit Gallup's definition of being "not engaged" at work — people who do the minimum required and are psychologically detached from their job. This describes half of the U.S. workforce. According to Gallup, everyone else is either engaged (32%) or actively disengaged (18%). The actively disengaged are also known as the “loud quitters" who spread their dissatisfaction broad and wide, aiming to bring others along in their disengagement. So not only do we need to be concerned about quiet quitters but also about the loud quitters in your workplace who could intensify the problem.
Clearly this is a trend that can’t be ignored. As leaders, we need to address it head on, and it begins with our own self check.
According to a recent study by SHRM, managers were 2x more likely than individual contributors to be looking for a new job. Corporate managers are rapidly burning out and finding their jobs 10 times harder than before the pandemic. Leaders are struggling across the board with staff retention, hiring, and team performance.
Front line managers are the key to driving performance, team dynamics, culture, and engagement. In small and medium-sized businesses, managers wear multiple hats and are typically asked not just to manage all aspects of their team’s work but also to perform many of the same functions themselves. It’s no wonder that front line leaders are tempted to quiet quit themselves. If you’re facing this yourself, here are some ways to address it.
The first step is considering what is causing us to be dissatisfied or disengaged with work. Is it an overwhelming workload, insufficient resources, conflicts with colleagues, a values misalignment between you and your organization, or something else? Whatever the cause, identifying and putting a name on it is the first step so you can plan from here.
When we’re feeling disengaged ourselves, we can quickly go down a slippery slope of feeling the “ain’t it awfuls.” One way to overcome this is to adapt a growth mindset over a fixed mindset. Individuals with fixed mindsets view challenges as constant and unfixable. They operate from a mindset of scarcity vs. abundance. This can’t be changed overnight, but there are some great books and courses on this topic to help develop a change in attitude. Through development of a growth mindset, leaders can combat complacency and stay motivated at work.
One reason you could be facing your own motivation challenges is that you are feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. Take some time to re-prioritize and focus on what really matters. Be realistic with yourself about goals and timelines. And practice work-life balance yourself. It’s powerful to model work-life balance for your employees. When they see you logging off at 5:30 and only emailing during company hours, you’re sending a strong message that boundaries matter and you respect your time as much as theirs.
Identify what motivates you and seek alignment. It’s highly possible on any given day you are engaged in tasks that don’t align with your strengths. If you’re a big picture, strategic thinker and you’re spending the bulk of the day in spreadsheets and data mining, it’s no wonder you’re miserable.
If you’ve never taken a behavioral assessment, now is the time. With the Omnia leadership style report, you can gain critical insight into your unique leadership traits and what motivates/de-motivates you. Once you have this insight, take a good look at your daily activities and redirect activity that others are better equipped to do. This is a win–win because you’ll be empowering members of your team to take on new things that can bring them joy and satisfaction — especially when it aligns with their strengths.
Once you’ve taken care of your own motivation and mindset, it’s time to address and combat quiet quitting with your staff. Here are some actions to take.
Make sure you’re not in denial or jumping to assumptions like I did. Take the time to ask your employees their views on quiet quitting and assure them it’s a safe environment to discuss it. If you’re feeling bold, you could even admit times when you’ve felt like quiet quitting. The key here is not to point fingers or place blame. There’s a reason this topic is trending. Acknowledging the reality of it with your employees is the first step in overcoming it, especially if you can get down to the root causes.
The only way to know if your staff is quiet quitting and identify the root cause is to develop a culture where people feel safe being open and where feedback is welcome. You can begin with an anonymous employee engagement survey. When you collect input and take noticeable actions toward improvement, you send a strong message that the company cares and is committed to creating a better work environment.
When I first started delving into the quiet quitting quandary, I polled a group of early career professionals ranging in ages 23-35. The energy and enthusiasm behind their multitude of responses was compelling! The common and most profound theme was how bored, misaligned, and underappreciated each of them feels in their jobs.
A staggering 9 out of 10 employees would take a lower salary for more meaningful work, according to research from BetterUp. Work with your team to set realistic goals that align with your vision and mission for the organization and that they can get enthusiastic about. Give continued feedback on their impact through recurring and consistent 1x1 meetings where you also discuss their concerns, job satisfaction, and progress toward career goals beyond the current role. Celebrate and reward their accomplishments along the way — don’t wait for year-end results and award banquets.
Work from home and hybrid work teams have blurred the lines between work and home, and there’s also a lack of comradery that office environments typically offer. This is another reason burnout and disengagement are rising. Learning something new is energizing — especially when employees can practice new skills side by side in a nurturing environment with their peers. Companies that invest in providing on-going professional development opportunities such as formal training programs, mentoring initiatives, and industry tradeshows and networking not only benefit from upskilling their staff, but the employees see it as a sign that you value them as individuals and are willing to invest in their succ
Every individual is unique when it comes to what motivates and inspires them. Just as it is important to know ourselves, it’s critical to understand the unique traits and motivators of your employees. Quiet quitting will never be addressed in a one-size-fits-all approach. This is where a behavioral assessment can also be helpful.
All Omnia reports include a section that outlines motivational strategies to use and demotivators to avoid for each personality style. For example, if you have an individual who is highly assertive (a tall column 1 on the Omnia personality assessment), they are motivated by performance-based incentives like commission, bonuses, and competitions. Individuals with a tall column 7 want the freedom to define their goals and achieve them in their own way. And individuals with a tall column 8 thrive with structured guidelines for work output, clear directions from management, and reassurance from management when expectations are being met. Understanding the unique qualities of the individuals on your team and adapting the way you set their goals, provide feedback, and recognize them fosters an environment where people feel valued and have the space to thrive.
Quiet quitting is a real issue that can have a significant impact on the success of your business. Don't dismiss it as a passing trend; take action to prevent negative consequences. Omnia is here to help. Contact our team to discover how our reports can assist you in evaluating your work preferences, recognizing the unique qualities of your team members, and coaching and developing them to achieve optimal success and growth. You’ll reduce the likelihood of quiet quitting and ensure that everyone is engaged and productive.
It’s impossible not to think of great romances in February, the month dedicated to celebrating relationships. Jack and Rose…he made the ultimate sacrifice for true love (even though there was enough room on that enormous door); or Danny and Sandy…hopelessly devoted to one another before, quite literally, flying off in a 1948 Ford Deluxe convertible, as all couples should; and then there’s Westley and Buttercup… storming castles and cheating death…inconceivable!
What did you do to celebrate your relationship on Valentine’s Day?
Was it a sappy card, flowers, chocolate, or maybe reservations at the trendy new gastronomical experience? Those are great strategies for romantic relationships, and certainly less drastic than choosing who gets to avoid hypothermia, but what does it take to build or improve our work relationships?
I once had a male colleague give me flowers the day after we had a disagreement about a project. It felt…awkward. I mean it was sweet, sure, but crossing boundaries could quickly land both parties in HR. The next thing you know, everyone is sitting in an anti-harassment training.
That’s why strategy #1 is…
The relationships we form at work are important ones. Whether you work in an office or virtually, you likely spend a lot of time interacting with your colleagues and managers, so you want those interactions to be as smooth and productive as possible. At least I hope you do!
While many of us might form a close work friendship or two that extends beyond the office, work relationships shouldn’t cross boundaries. Of course, we live in the real world, so blurred lines exist. For work friendships that extend outside the office, it’s a good idea for both parties to regularly check themselves to maintain professionalism.
For example, talk about your strategy for those times when you may not agree with each other about something at work. Set appropriate boundaries. Like your parents always used to tell you, true friends like you for who you are, not for what you can do for them. A friendly colleague should not expect you to blindly agree with them, share information that you shouldn’t, or gossip negatively about others. Run from toxic relationships, which is really just great advice for all aspects of your life.
Yes, work relationships are professional, not personal, but they shouldn’t be cold and devoid of all emotion. There just shouldn’t be an intense outpouring of personal thoughts and emotions. Don’t make it too heavy. But do be empathetic and caring. Make an effort to get to know people on a casually personal level. It’s okay to ask personal questions, just not deeply personal questions.
Need some help with that? Here are some examples:
It’s never okay to ask a coworker to help you identify a rash.
We all have a variety of personality traits that define our inherent strengths, challenges, and workplace preferences. With Omnia’s behavioral assessment, everyone fits into one of 4 broad categories — the Social and Analytical Drivers and the Social and Analytical Supporters — and further into 17 distinct personality groups. Understanding the unique personalities of your coworkers so you can communicate with each person in a way that works for them is a great way to improve work relationships. Knowing a colleague’s underlying motivators and communication style will help you avoid misunderstandings and unnecessary conflict.
For example, if you are a fast-paced, big-picture person who only hits the highlights when talking with others, but you’re talking to a methodical, detailed coworker, be sure to give more data than you normally would. Take some time to explain yourself and provide context.
If your company uses Omnia’s behavioral assessment for hiring or employee development, the information can be useful for everyone. We have personal development reports written to and for the employee as a way to increase self-awareness and awareness of others. It’s information you can use to nurture work relationships.
As discussed above, we are all different, from our personality types to our deeply held values and beliefs. A workplace culture is made up of dynamic, complex people, so don’t assume that you know what a teammate is thinking about a project or task at work. Actively seek to understand the other person’s point of view. Not only will it improve the work relationship, but it could also make the project better. Be open and listen; it’s the exchange of information, thoughts, and ideas that could take your project from done to done spectacularly.
No one wants to have a relationship with a slacker who is not pulling their own weight, no matter how nice that person might be otherwise. Work relationships, like all other relationships, are based on trust, teamwork, and getting stuff done. We all want to hit our goals and succeed, so nothing will spoil a work relationship faster than someone who is not doing their fair share. It’s like how you feel when a member of your family walks by that full trash can or tosses their clothes outside of the hamper.
Work relationships are an important part of our lives and can mean the difference between being engaged and productive at work or feeling a sense of dread at the thought of that next meeting. Use these 5 strategies to make work relationships work!
People get my name wrong a lot. I’ve often remarked to friends that it’s like being part of a social experiment every day of my life. Admittedly, Keather is a unique name. I’ve never met another Keather, and I’ve never met anyone who has. I know there are other Keathers in the world because I’m human and I’ve googled it to find out. And while I understand that Keather is a unique name, it’s still amazing to me how many times my name is spelled and pronounced incorrectly. So when I set out to write a blog about listening I thought it would be fun to go back and look at the photos I have in an album of spelling mis-haps. To me these examples exemplify what a constant challenge it is for our brains to take in and fully process what we are hearing before we take action.
Here are some examples of misinterpretations I’ve experienced over the years:
There are many things that get in the way of us fully listening to people. There are external barriers we face daily that are due to our physical environment. Most of the spelling mishaps I’ve experienced are either in coffee shops, airports or hotels. Often the person is frantically trying to take down my name while fighting the loud hums and whistles of the espresso machines, or the screeching of blenders and other baristas. Hotel operators or airline desk attendants are distracted by long queues, irritated travelers, or computer delays.
External barriers to listening are physical barriers that interfere with hearing more than listening, but they can certainly cause enough distraction to get in the way of someone being able to listen fully with concentration. In an office setting, these include things like the quality of sound on your phone, your computer speakers, the speaker’s settings and the all too famous issue of someone being on mute when they’re talking on a Zoom call. These are all things that a listener and a speaker can typically control. If not, the conversation should always be rescheduled.
Internal barriers to listening are more complex and difficult to work through. This is when the messenger is heard, but there are internal barriers that prevent the listener from fully understanding and comprehending the message. These internal barriers to listening can keep the message receiver from understanding the intent and feeling behind what’s being communicated and can result in taking incorrect action or giving an inappropriate response.
I’m certain we’ve all been in a situation where we’ve known that someone can hear us, but they aren’t fully listening. That experience leaves us frustrated and can lead to serious consequences of disengagement, work errors, and productivity loss to name a few. Being ready to fully listen means you’re committed to picking up all the sound in the message, and the meaning behind it. There are many things that can get in the way.
Here are 3 to consider and work on overcoming.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, our brains process about 70,000 facts a day. In addition to the information overload we’re experiencing, there are always competing distractions coming our way whenever we’re in a conversation. Rarely is our mobile phone out of our sight. Texts, IMs, and other interruptions are occurring constantly while we’re in conversations with others. To be a good listener we must manage these distractions to the best of our ability. Turn off notifications and sound alerts. Put your phone face down and keep it down throughout the conversation. Easier said than done, right? Just remember, multi-tasking is not doing multiple things at once – it’s screwing up multiple things at once, and the last thing we want to do is have a key employee feel discounted and unheard. So be all in.
Each of us have a unique style and preference of communication. Some people prefer to paint the entire picture for you with every detail, and others prefer to only hit the highlights. Depending on your preference it can be difficult to be all in and fully listen to the person who’s got the opposite approach. Some would prefer to write or receive an email ahead of a conversation or even in place of a conversation. The Omnia behavioral assessment helps leaders and individuals understand their unique communication qualities and preferred approach. When you’re the listener, it’s important to honor the messenger’s style while keeping your own in check. Especially in difficult conversations when you know the individual is having a challenging time discussing a sensitive topic. Allow them to do it in their way and adapt your style.
Have you ever just wanted to vent to someone about a challenging situation and they jump in immediately telling you how to fix it? You weren’t looking for advice, but all of a sudden you’re getting told what to do. This is a common barrier and occurrence, unfortunately. Most of us want to be helpful and can’t help but jump into problem-solving mode. We can overcome this barrier by clarifying expectations at the beginning of a conversation and adapting our listening Ask what the individual wants from you during the conversation. As one of my favorite leaders used to clarify in meetings - are we information sharing or information processing? Are they looking to just provide a brief status update with no judgement or input from you? Are they coming to you for advice and discernment to help them get unstuck with something and to consider alternative approaches? Or do they merely want a supportive confidant or cheerleader to share a challenge or victory. Knowing what the individual expects from you as the listener right up front can set the conversation up for success.
Keeping these barriers in mind, here are some things you can do during conversations to fully listen and not just hear.
Focus on being effective in the conversation, not efficient. Steven Covey, author of my all-time favorite book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, said “you simply can’t think efficiency with people. You think effectiveness with people and efficiency with things.” Once you’ve clarified up front what the person wants from the conversation be sure you have enough time to get through the content. We’re all pressed for time and usually jammed with back to back meetings. Make sure before you dig into a conversation that there’s enough time to get to the expected result.
This is hard! But keep yourself in check and let the individual complete their sentences. Be sure that full thoughts have been expressed and that the person is finished before you jump in with any response or questions. A good practice is to count to 5 before you step in. This may seem like a lifetime, but you’ll be surprised at how often the person has more to say and they will if you give them that time and space.
Writing down what you’re hearing is a great way to stay focused and capture details you will want to clarify later in the conversation. It also gives those of us with a propensity to interrupt something to do. If you’re taking notes on your computer or phone be sure to let the other person know you’re doing so. They may incorrectly assume you’re responding to emails or texting a friend.
After you’re certain the speaker has finished their thoughts and is ready for a response begin with asking questions. Asking questions assures there is clarity before action. It also shows your intent to fully understand what the other person is saying and experiencing, and shows you are interested; committed. Clarify what you heard and ask for supporting details, or feelings behind the message. Repeat back an important fact they shared or a specific detail to confirm you have a complete understanding of what was said and what they meant. Using phrases like – Do you mean? Are you saying? Would it be important for you?... go a long way in not only helping expand the conversation to get more clarity but also being sure the messenger feels heard.
Circle back to the beginning of the conversation and what the expected outcome was. Did the individual get what they wanted out of the conversation? Did you leave them feeling heard? Did you mirror the emotion expressed? Agree on next steps, specific actions, and the timing for follow-up. And remember - listening isn’t just a one-time event. Effective communication between a manager and their employees is fundamental to the operation of any business and it’s a continual process. Make a commitment to follow these steps in team meetings and 1x1’s and you’ll go a long way in demonstrating you are not only hearing your colleagues, but you’re listening intently.
We are here to help! One of the most powerful management tools is simple self and team awareness. Knowing your natural communication style along with the styles of your team members is a great way to start. These insights help you effectively recognize the differences within your team and manage to those dynamics. When you commit to authentic communication, it’s easier to build employee trust and lay the foundation for sustained employee engagement and productivity.
Workplace trends and buzzwords may have you thinking that 2023 will be all about the word quiet. I mean really – how much more can we take? Everywhere we look there are LinkedIn posts, Tik Tok videos and articles about quiet quitting, quiet firing and quiet hiring.
In a world where employee engagement is at an all-time low, this is no time to be quiet. The need for open, transparent communication has never been greater. Let’s dig into what employee engagement and motivations trends we should pay attention to in 2023 to make an impact.
First, a little bit of bad news. According to the most recent Gallup surveys, U.S. employee engagement continues to trend downward. After trending up for several years, this was the first annual decline in a decade. According to the most recent data:
Every time I look at this data the group that concerns me the most is the large number in the middle who are neither. They can be swayed either way. In other words, they are coming to work each day, doing the basics of the job, not actively trying to make the company better, but not actively trying to sabotage it either. These are your potential quiet quitters.
Anyone actively disengaged isn’t doing it quietly. Our job as leaders is to make sure we retain, reward and grow the actively engaged, while focusing on what we can do about that group in the middle to keep them positive and productive. Unfortunately, the actively disengaged can take up most of our emotional energy and time on any given day. So ask yourself, where is your time and focus best spent.
Here are 5 things to pay attention to this year to help drive engagement and productivity in your workplace.
There was a lot of talk in 2022 about companies requiring employees to return to the office. Employees went looking for other jobs and shared open willingness to take pay cuts to keep their flexibility with working remotely. I recently heard a job seeker say that the first question they ask of the recruiter is if the job is remote and that they won’t consider anything else.
Gallup’s recent data shows that remote and hybrid workers are more engaged than on-site workers. Employees who work exclusively remote or hybrid tend to have higher levels of engagement (37% engaged in both groups) than those who work exclusively on-site (29% engaged).
Even if your business model doesn’t support a fully remote scenario, companies that take a remote first approach make employees more motivated by seeing their leaders show flexibility. The key to this is also shifting focus from efficiency to effectiveness. It’s no longer about how many hours an employee works, but more about how much value and impact they create.
Organizations are looking at new ways to track and evaluate employee performance. They are shifting from quantity to quality which leads to a win-win scenario where employees feel more valued and trusted, and leaders feel more confident that their employees are doing great work. Which leads us to the next trend of improving people analytics.
Google knows that I’m more interested in Jeeps than Volvos and that I’m more likely to click on a picture of a monkey than a cat. Email marketers know that I’m looking at stand up desks and fill my social feeds with suggestions. This same kind of data can be used to help understand when people are most likely to call in sick or what functions have employees feeling most disengaged.
The next generation of technology tools use data to shine light on employee productivity, well-being, and satisfaction using A.I. and an innovative combination of collaboration analytics and peer polling for a rich understanding of employees, teams, and their work environments. Visier’s Workplace Trends 2023 report outlines several approaches HR teams and executives can take to let people analytics to do the heavy lifting and leave the guesswork behind.
At the individual level, using behavioral science is critical to understanding what motivates and demotivates your staff. Employee behavioral assessments, such as the Omnia Development Report, provide tremendous insight into how a person prefers to communicate as well as what motivates and demotivates them.
Experts predict that wage and salary transparency will play a leading role in 2023 workplace dynamics. We continue to see a surge of TikTok salary transparency videos emerging with every kind of professional imaginable sharing what they make for a living. Seventeen states have implemented laws around payroll transparency with more to come. If you haven’t already, your business should be to address this trend. You can get in front of it by posting open positions that include salary ranges.
Another people-first trend emerging is unlimited PTO and the rise of the four-day work week. These practices may not work for your small or mid-sized business but consider other flexible work arrangements for your staff and get creative by focusing on the quality of work output instead of time.
According to a recent study by SHRM, managers were 2x more likely than individual contributors to be looking for a new job. Corporate managers are burning out rapidly finding their jobs 10 times harder than before the pandemic. They’re struggling across the board with staff retention, hiring and team performance. And with the growing focus on the employee, managers are sandwiched between the employee's and the organization's needs.
Front line managers are the key to driving performance, team dynamics, culture, and engagement. In small and medium-sized businesses managers wear multiple hats and are typically asked to not just manage all aspects of their team’s work but perform many of the same functions themselves. When is the last time you brought your front-line leaders into a forum and asked them how they’re doing? Listen to their stories and emphasize helping them first.
Another finding from the Gallup survey shows that engagement is higher for organizations that focus on culture and well-being. Work and life are becoming more blended for your employees and just like the managers, employee burnout continues to rise. Workers who are healthy in body and mind are likely to stay motivated and perform better. They may also be less likely to take sick days.
There are many creative and relatively inexpensive ways to demonstrate your commitment to employee wellness in the workplace. Consider offering gym membership reimbursement or access to meditation apps. Encouraging frequent breaks during the workday. Track time off to be sure people are adequately using their PTO. Offer lunch-and-learn sessions that provide education on well-being, nutrition, and mental health.
And remember, like they say before takeoff, put your oxygen mask on first. Be sure that as you launch into 2023, you are ready mentally and physically for the road ahead.
Omnia is here for you. Whatever your hiring and onboarding challenges, Omnia can help! Our skilled Customer Success team is available to provide guidance throughout the employee lifecycle. Our behavioral assessments are quick, powerful, and now mobile friendly. Let us know how we can help you navigate this evolving world of work and drive success in 2023.
Due to some miraculous time warp, the holidays are suddenly here. Wasn’t it just Labor Day? This week, the US will be celebrating Thanksgiving, and (when we’re not rushing around shopping and cooking or looking for a place to lie down after the meal) many of us will be reflecting on what we’re most thankful for. Maybe your family has the sometimes-nerve-wracking tradition of going around the table and announcing it to all assembled. If you’re like me, you want to think of something meaningful but not too heavy. Or maybe you’re the one jokingly announcing your gratitude for all the pies. Admittedly, most of us are probably not going to be talking about work. We’re grateful for our paychecks, of course, but those of us who are fortunate to have time off may be most thankful for this little break. But if you are not already doing so, now is the perfect time to reflect on the contributions your employees make to the success of the team (before the turkey coma hits), and to practice gratitude for them as fellow humans.
According to gratitude expert Robert Emmons of UC, Davis, “…gratitude encourages us to identify some amount of goodness in our life… We can appreciate positive traits in ourselves, but …true gratitude involves a humble dependence on others: We acknowledge that other people—or even higher powers, if you’re of a spiritual mindset—gave us many gifts, big and small, to help us achieve the goodness in our lives.” Research shows practicing gratitude has many physical, emotional, and social benefits. It can lower stress hormones, reduce inflammation, lower depression, improve sleep, and lead to healthier habits. Despite the science, we may feel uneasy talking about touchy-feely concepts like “goodness” and “gifts” and “humbleness” in the context of work. We usually try to avoid emotions when discussing business. We all know that objectivity is essential, and it’s important not to take things too personally. This is all true, but as beneficial as it would be to switch off our emotions, we humans do not yet have that feature. Whether we like it or not, we can even benefit from practicing gratitude on the job. In the Gratitude at Work Playbook, Steve Foran notes:
If you currently have a motivational strategy or incentive program in place, you may feel that you are already fostering a culture of gratitude. That is a great first step, but gratitude goes a little deeper than just appreciation. Instead of thanking people for what they have done, you are thanking them for who they are. The result is a greater level of connection.
1. Make yourself known as someone who looks for good. When you’re mentoring and managing employees, make a habit of noticing everything good you see in each employee. You don’t always need to comment on it but make a habit of looking for it, and do comment when appropriate. People can tell if they are being judged harshly or positively.
2. Avoid negativity. The news right now is loaded with negative stories about labor: the great resignation, the great reshuffling, plunging productivity, quiet quitting. It seems there is a new buzzword every week to rile up fear and frustration in employers. This is not to suggest that you shouldn’t stay informed but do stay mindful of the intent behind the headlines – to get you to click. Though they seem eager to pit employer against employee, the reason there is any story to report at all is the same: Employees Matter! Don’t vilify them because you read article number fifty on the evils of quiet quitting. Your employees are critical to the success of your business – be grateful for them, and actively work on engagement.
3. Acknowledging what it is about the person that makes them a valued member of the team. You can and should always reward goal achievement, but also take advantage of opportunities to acknowledge personality traits and soft skills that make someone a valued member of your team. For example:
4. Make work meaningful. Once you have identified and appreciated what makes an employee special, one way of showing gratitude is by giving them work that is in alignment with those qualities. If the person excels at showing compassion, consider assigning them to work with clients who need more attention. If someone is extremely organized, have them help build efficiency into processes. Obviously, this isn’t always possible, but doing so when you can lets the person know you understand and appreciate them as a person. The flipside to this is to avoid assigning work that contributes in no way to the organization other than to keep the employee in motion. Remember, activity doesn’t automatically equal productivity.
5. Going to bat for your employees. Supporting, advocating for, and backing up your employees is key to showing gratitude. They will understand they matter to you if you can take a firm stance for them, and if they know you are actively trying to make their jobs better.
Gratitude is like a perpetual motion machine. If you foster it, feel it, and show it, it’s going to come back to you. Your team will be grateful for you and the company, and it will show in reduced turnover, reduced absenteeism, and increased performance. Speaking of gratitude, The Omnia Group is so grateful to you, our clients, partners, and readers. Thank you for your commitment to your employees and for working with us. We wish you and your families the happiest Thanksgiving.