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Insights for Shaping Tomorrow’s Leaders
Key Insights on Gallup’s State of the Workforce Report 2024
July 2, 2024

In our last blog post we shared insights and best practices on navigating the complex world we live and work in from a leadership lens. Leadership is more critical than ever, and the complexities of our current environment has created a demand for leaders who have a people first mindset and who can navigate uncertainty while leading their teams forward.

This week, we are going to share some key insights from Gallup’s State of the Workforce Report that reinforces this notion that effective leadership is critical to organizational success. The caliber and bench-strength of your leaders has a dramatic impact on organizational performance, overall employee satisfaction, engagement and wellbeing.

We are going to highlight results and key insights and then we are going to take a deeper dive and explore the impact effective leadership has on employee wellbeing and organizational success.    

The Results and Key Insights

  • The percentage of engaged employees globally who feel involved in and enthusiastic about their work remains at 23%, matching the record high recorded in 2022.  
  • 62% of employees are not engaged and those who show up, do the bare minimum and are uninspired by their work.  
  • 15% are actively disengaged and are open to exploring new alternatives which include leaving the organization.  
  • Not engaged and actively disengaged employees account for $8.9 trillion in lost productivity worldwide.
  • 41% of employees report experiencing “a lot of stress” and the level of stress varies significantly depending on how organizations are run. 
  • Those who work in companies with bad management practices are nearly 60% more likely to be stressed than people working in environments with good management practices.   

Let’s face it, we all experience daily stress. Striving to maintain a successful career while balancing life outside of work with its ups and downs is no small task.  

In more recent years, this has become a topic of great interest and a real concern for many organizations across the globe. The key difference now is that we have research studies, empirical evidence and our own personal experience that has confirmed stress is real and it's troublesome because when it is unmanaged it can lead to burnout, and various mental health challenges, among other issues of concern.  

In 2020, we were forced to change the way we work and live, which triggered a massive work-life integration effort like never before, which offered advantages that are now table stakes for employees and leaders alike.  

The data isn’t very encouraging as it shows that a quarter of leaders feel burned out often or always, and two-thirds feel it at least sometimes. Stress and adversity are part of our day-to-day lives, and how we manage it is within an individual's control to some degree.  

The quick and obvious go-to solutions for employees like EAP programs, and various health and wellness tools and resources are great, but they do not really target the issues that cause stress that are within an organization's control.  

The report notes that “mindfulness and wellbeing apps aren’t the problem, but when bad management uses them as a fix, it can make things worse. It’s understandable when you consider that a major cause of workplace stress is not having the materials and equipment you need to do your job effectively. That problem can’t be solved with a yoga mat; it requires action from management. And the perception that organizations are investing in areas other than what employees need to get the job done can exacerbate stress.”

The Role of the Manager in Employee Wellbeing and Organizational Success

The report showed that managers account for 70% of the variance in team employee engagement and it also provided the following insights to support this fact:

  • Managers have more negative daily experiences than their teams because managers are there to provide support to their employees and to direct them to the available support resources as required.  
  • Managers are not immune to stress, mental health issues and wellbeing challenges. When managers are engaged at work, non-managers (your teams) are also more likely to be engaged.  

Here are our thoughts on this topic. You set the tone with how you manage your day-to-day workload, stress levels and how you show up for your people. You need to be able to lead yourself first before you can be expected to lead, manage, and support others. 

What Managers Can Do to Increase Engagement, Combat Stress and Achieve Collective Success

We support and advocate all the suggestions that were provided in the report which included:

  • Proper goal and objective setting.
  • Offering regular and meaningful feedback.
  • Establishing accountability and support through 1:1s, coffee chats, and check ins.
  • Being there as a support mechanism for teams which is why managers are sometimes more susceptible to negative daily experiences as noted previously.
  • Build relationships with employees grounded in respect, positivity and an understanding of everyone’s strengths and unique gifts. 
  • Help employees find meaning and reward in their work, which results in employees taking an interest in what they do, leading to higher productivity and enjoyment.

The bottom line is when managers are engaged, employees are more likely to be engaged, too. When organizations have leaders who know how to build an inclusive and engaged workforce, it will lead to enhanced performance and results.  

As we often remark, take care of your people and they will take care of your business.  

What Are Your Thoughts?

We want to hear what your thoughts are on this topic? What best practices or approaches have we missed? What strategies do you have that are working for you to manage stress and drive up engagement? 

We would love to hear from you, so please reach out by emailing me at joanne.trotta@leadersedgeinc.ca or calling me at 416.560.1806.

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