May 19, 2024

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How do we get employees back to work?

How do we get employees back to work?

In general, according to a McKinsey study, employees who are “tired” of their work are a real source of frustration for the entire organization. (Photo: Sander Sammy for Unsplash)

Cursed job! Oliver Schmouker's segment to answer your most juicy questions [et les plus pertinentes] About the modern business world… and, of course, its flaws. Appointment to read Tuesdays Furthermore Thursdays. Do you want to participate? Send us your question to [email protected]

Q. – “I don't know why, but I have the impression that our SME employees are less committed to their work. It drags its feet, it sighs. Is there anything to get them back to work?” – Pierre-Olivier

A. – Dear Pierre-Olivier, if it can relieve you, know that your SME is not the exception that proves the rule: employee dismissal is a major phenomenon these days. As proof, I cite a recent survey conducted by the strategy consulting firm McKinsey in North America, which found that more than half of workers do not feel engaged in their work.

– 10% workers resigned. They are so modest that they are on the verge of quitting: they do the bare minimum at work and are actively looking for another job elsewhere.

– 12% disruptive. They experience low job satisfaction and show low commitment: their performance is low, but worse, they drain the energy of others and they reduce the morale of those around them.

– 33.5% “sheep”. Their levels of satisfaction and commitment are below average: they get the job done without overdoing it and trying to do more than anything else. Usually, they just go with the flow, without saying anything. And in general, this can greatly affect the productivity of the organization.

In short, at least half of the workers are unhappy at work.

The question is obvious: What is wrong? A McKinsey study, in fact, looked into this. The dismissal of workers must be seen as a result of six factors.

– Adequate remuneration. Workers feel that they are underpaid, which makes them disengaged and underworked. This factor alone explains 12% of total dismemberment.

– Lack of meaning (12%). They don't understand their daily life at work. It makes them feel that their work is worthless.

– Lack of flexibility (11%). Workers want to better coordinate professional and personal life, at least in order to have a certain flexibility in their daily management (schedules, workplaces, etc.).

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– Lack of career development opportunities (10%). For example, from the career plan in the organization, they want to have the opportunity to at least follow training programs that will help them advance their career.

– Lack of support (9%). They find that their immediate manager doesn't understand, advise or support them enough. They hate the fact that he just commands and controls them. And if this lack of support does not come from the immediate manager, it can also come from senior managers or senior management.

– Feeling of insecurity (9%). They are not physically or emotionally safe in their workplace.

In other words, the problems are many and varied, and that doesn't sound like good news to employers, who clearly have their work cut out for them. However, McKinsey experts who signed the study believe that it is possible to put the heart back into the work of employees, as Pierre-Olivier says. And this is by proceeding in three stages.

1. What are you in for?

Taking a closer look at the main factors of employee dismissal, one notices a very simple thing: the core of the problem is that employees cannot find their place in the organization. Their place is neither in remuneration, nor in the objective to be accomplished by their daily work, nor in the method to be employed to accomplish it.

And that's the organization's fault, McKinsey experts believe: “If employees are disoriented, it's almost always because senior management and their relays as leaders and managers don't know which direction to go. Because navigating by sight is satisfied with truth,” they observed.

Are you in doubt? Also. So, answer the following question: “What is your organization's purpose today?” And to the next: “Unexpectedly, would all senior management members, leaders, and managers in your organization give the same answer to the first question?”

Well…we can reasonably expect that some will provide the answer to customer needs, others with healthy and sustainable profits, and others with a planet-respecting good or service. Isn't this true?

In general, the confusion of answers given by the “head” of the organization resonates in the daily life of employees. And for most of them, it becomes a real mess in their daily work life. Deep down, they don't know why or what they work for and it weakens them day by day until they fall apart.

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To solve this, it is a good idea to hold group meetings to get everyone thinking about the organization's reason for existence. Around one central question: “What are we for?” Followed: “And every one of you, what use are you?”

This allows everyone to better understand the mission to be fulfilled not only collectively but also individually. Therefore, to give meaning to the work of each employee.

After that, McKinsey experts recommend that everyone regularly check to see if they're aligning their daily lives with the goal they need to fulfill. For example, do senior managers use the organization's advantage as a north star in making decisions?

This certification is mandatory, they stressed. “If the reason for being is the poster on the wall, you're wasting everyone's time. If it does not permeate the daily life of every employee, the consequences will be disastrous,” they stressed.

By the way, they add this point that I think is crucial: “Our survey found that employees are five times more likely to be engaged in their daily work when they spend time reflecting on the impact of their work on the organization. the world.”

2. Focus more on empathy

Take a closer look at the leaders and managers in your organization. Do they cultivate compassionate leadership, or is their attitude “just stop and get to work!” And if you're a leader yourself, ask yourself: “Is my team really comfortable sharing personal things with me?”

If you ever think these questions are secondary, remember this from a McKinsey study: When employees are emotionally insecure, they have only a 0.5% chance of achieving their personal and collective goals at work. That is, at least there is almost no chance of achieving the goals set for them. This is so stupid.

The trick to remedying the situation is simple: increase your empathy for employees. In fact, it develops your empathy in three steps.

– Cognitive empathy. Try to understand the other person's point of view without judging it. Try to understand the logic, the other person's reasoning. Or, imagine what it would be like to experience someone else's reality.

– Emotional empathy. Try to catch the other person's emotions when they are talking to you. See if you feel hurt when the other person is hurting (if not, ask yourself why). Or, experience helping others by truly putting yourself at their service.

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– kind sympathy. Understand the other person's point of view, show concern, and take action to alleviate the other person's suffering or solve a problem they are facing. Feel the pain when the other person is hurt and take steps to help reduce or eliminate it. Or, understand, advise and support another.

3. Help everyone thrive

According to a McKinsey study, 63% of employees feel that their employer does not really give them the opportunity to develop in their day-to-day work. That is a huge proportion. “So you have no choice but to minimize this serious problem,” the study's authors said.

Some organizations are more or less aware of this and from time to time they organize meetings and other workshops with the aim of encouraging everyone to express their own skills in their daily work. The effort is “laudable, but not enough,” say McKinsey experts.

It's a good idea to try to align everyone's personal goals with the organization's goals. Because the employee then feels “in their place” and is therefore in a useful and effective position. This leads him directly to fulfillment.

Now how to manage such arrangement? By taking the time to sit down with everyone and see if their individual goals contribute to the achievement of collective goals. It is very simple. This task may certainly seem tedious, but it allows the employee to realize how important their work is and, above all, allows them to feel more “in their place” if necessary. For example, removing him from a repulsive task that does not give him the opportunity to express one of his key skills and returning it to another member of the team who is thinking of taking it on.

Pierre-Olivier, there you go. It is certainly possible to make others want to give 110% at work. The trick is to stop bemoaning the speck in someone else's eye and dare to consider the beam in your own eye. And one must have the courage to remove the other.

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