"Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can't lose." - Bill Gates
It's not the things we worry about that get us in the end, but the things we take for granted. In today's economy, perhaps more than ever, leaders are waking up to the fact that they can't take anything for granted and the old rules no longer apply.
It can almost feel like, the more successful your organization, the more in danger you are. And that may be true.
For this reason, good leaders are always in search of evidence to disprove their assumptions and question their biases. So, in that spirit, here are six recent, inconvenient insights from Gallup's workplace research that you need to know:
1. Only 22% of employees strongly agree their leaders have a clear direction for their organization.
Despite extensive communication plans, presentations and memos, few employees think their leaders know where their organization is headed -- and only 15% of employees strongly agree the leadership of their organization makes them feel enthusiastic about the future.
One reason may be that most leaders do not include a significant number of people in shaping the vision of their organization. When people feel like they are a part of the process, they are naturally more enthusiastic about the outcome.
2. Only 26% of employees believe their organization always delivers on its promises to customers.
Most business leaders would agree that delivering on your promise to customers -- in quality, delivery or experience -- is necessary for success. And in today's connected world, missing the mark can instantly damage your brand's reputation.
If roughly one in four employees think their organization consistently delivers for customers, leaders should be worried about the long-term health of their enterprises.
3. Only 12% of employees strongly agree that their organization does a great job of onboarding.
It's hard to imagine there was a time before every organization had an "onboarding" program. But despite its ubiquity in the corporate world, most employees are not happy with the experience.
A great onboarding program should do more than take care of paperwork; it should help new employees experience your unique culture, see how their work matters, know what's expected of them, and help them picture a long-term career path with you.
4. Only 14% of employees strongly agree that the performance reviews they receive inspire them to improve.
The truth is that the traditional annual review is in need of serious overhaul. Fewer than three in 10 employees believe their performance reviews are fair and accurate.
One cause is that performance conversations happen so infrequently -- and modern business changes so quickly -- that when managers and employees finally talk, few of the goals or measurements make sense anymore. That said, there are things you can do to make performance reviews something employees actually look forward to.
5. 67% of employees say they are sometimes, very often or always burned out at work.
Burnout is a serious matter. Employees who are very often or always burned out are 63% more likely to take a sick day and 23% more likely to visit the emergency room.
Burnout impacts employee performance, retention, career growth and even family life. It is not inevitable, and it should never be celebrated as part of a so-called "hard-working culture."
6. 51% of currently employed adults in the U.S. say they are searching for new jobs or watching for new job opportunities.
Not only are half of all employees looking for a new job, nearly half (47%) say now is a good time to find a quality job. So what do workers want in a job?
Many want flexibility and opportunities to grow. Working for a paycheck is not enough to retain great people. Today's worker wants a job that fits with their life and allows them to develop their talents.
What These 6 Items Mean For Executive Leadership
So what does this mean for leaders? Business is moving faster than ever. The old ways of doing things aren't working anymore. And today's executive leadership needs to be more connected -- in a persistent, "always-on" capacity -- with the emotions, opinions and attitudes of their employees.
Are your employees waiting a year to figure out if they belong with you? Are they waiting a year to talk with their boss about their performance? Waiting a year to grow professionally? Waiting a year to stop feeling burned out? Waiting a year to know leadership's vision for your organization?
If you leave your employees waiting, they are already leaving -- and that should worry any leader.
Explore our content and services to learn more about how you can improve these numbers for your organization:
- Discover how to design a winning employee experience with our new perspective paper.
- Improve your performance management practices by reading our Re-Engineering Performance Management report.
- Partner with us to create and implement a strategic plan for your workplace that will help you outperform the competition.