But only 20 per cent of employees around the world report that they're fully engaged at work.
It's a disconnect that serves no one well. So what's the solution? Where is the win-win for employers and employees?
Tony Schwartz of the Energy Project, has identified a set of attributes of a truly great place to work. How many of these attributes exist in our own companies?
- Pay employees a fair wage and give them a stake in the company's success, in the form of profit sharing, or stock options, or bonuses tied to performance. If the company does well, all employees should share in the success, in meaningful ways.
- Design working environments that are safe, comfortable and appealing to work in. In offices, include a range of physical spaces that allow for privacy, collaboration, and simply hanging out.
- Provide healthy, high quality food, at the lowest possible prices.
- Create places for employees to rest and renew during the course of the working day and encourage them to take intermittent breaks. Ideally, leaders would permit afternoon naps, which fuel higher productivity in the several hours that follow.
- Offer a well equipped gym and other facilities that encourage employees to move physically and stay fit. Provide incentives for employees to use the facilities, including during the work day as a source of renewal.
- Define clear and specific expectations for what success looks like in any given job. Then, treat employees as adults by giving them as much autonomy as possible to choose when they work, where they do their work, and how best to get it accomplished.
- Institute two-way performance reviews, so that employees not only receive regular feedback about how they're doing, in ways that support their growth, but are also given the opportunity to provide feedback to their supervisors, anonymously if they so choose, to avoid recrimination.
- Hold leaders and managers accountable for treating all employees with respect and care, all of the time, and encourage them to regularly recognize those they supervise for the positive contributions they make.
- Create policies that encourage employees to set aside time to focus without interruption on their most important priorities, including long-term projects and more strategic and creative thinking.
- Provide employees with ongoing opportunities and incentives to learn, develop and grow, both in establishing new job-specific hard skills, as well as softer skills that serve them well as individuals, and as managers and leaders.
- Stand for something beyond simply increasing profits. Create products or provide services or serve causes that clearly add value in the world, making it possible for employees to derive a sense of meaning from their work, and to feel good about the companies for which they work.
How does your company measure up? What's the impact on your performance? Which needs would your company have to meet for you to be more fully engaged?
Crispin White is a Partner at interim management agency Talentfield