Time For A Workplace Renaissance

by Joshua Routh

Workplace Renaissance
The latest Gallup Report on the 2023 State of the Global Workplace is full of insights. Many of the revelations are not shocking, but are definitely important. In the past few years we have learned these things from conversations, the news and our own experiences. The long and short, an increasing number of our fellow workers in the United States are not feeling the love in their jobs and the state of employee engagement is begging for attention.

The fact that many of us have known this for a while and are seeing it now, officially, in black and white shows that nothing has changed. It reminds me of one of my favorite adages, “If nothing changes, nothing changes.”

Clearly, it is time to embrace a workplace renaissance.

The big takeaway? Half of the workforce is merely treading water, putting in minimal effort to get by. It's a wake-up call for organizations to spend some time listening to their employees and build a stronger connection between teams and management. The lesson here is that it is time for a reshaping of the workplace and employees will need a voice in deciding how that reshaping will happen.

Gallup's research reveals that a massive segment of the workforce is feeling disengaged, resentful and has many unmet needs. Some workers find themselves grappling with the dissatisfaction arising from low pay, long hours, or a loss of trust in their employers.

It's clear that our workplaces are at a critical crossroads. Employees are yearning for more recognition, opportunities for growth, fair treatment, clear goals, and yes, better managers. Basically, a fulfilling work experience.

A significant factor contributing to this shift in attitude is the lack of clarity surrounding expectations from managers. When team members are unsure of their roles or feel a void in communication, frustration begins to build. Employers must bridge this gap by fostering transparent lines of communication. Meaningful conversations and clear guidance are the cornerstones of successful managerial approaches.

It is time to stop burying our head in the sand and confront the reality of "quiet quitting." Picture this: individuals physically present or logged into their computers, but mentally adrift. They lack direction, purpose, and supportive bonds with their colleagues, bosses, and organizations. 52% are quiet quitting and 17% are loud quitting. 47% of respondents are actively seeking a new job. Those numbers make workplace change unavoidable.

And let's not forget about stress. Gallup's findings reveal that in the US, 52% of employees experienced substantial stress the previous day. Managers bear a significant responsibility, as they exert a disproportionate influence on the stress workers feel in their jobs, which cascades into their overall daily stress levels.

Amidst this backdrop, the world experienced a surge in job opportunities, globally nearly every region witnessing an increase in the number of workers viewing it as a good time to find a job where they live. It's a clear sign that the world economy is open for business. However, organizations must now devote their attention to retaining their most talented employees, as competition for their skills intensifies.

Also, companies are grappling with the return to in-office work. We've witnessed protests and debates over remote work, hybrid models, and full on-site presence. However, let us not forget that Gallup's analysis reveals engagement wields 3.8 times more influence on employee stress than work location. The key lies in the relationship between individuals, their teams, and their managers. Engaged employees can thrive regardless of their physical surroundings.

So, how do we forge the path towards engagement and connection? By building trust. Many employees perceive the shift away from flexible schedules and remote work options as a lack of trust from executives. On the other hand, the benefits of remote work experienced during the pandemic, such as increased family time and reduced commuting, have become essential contributors to employee happiness.

Employers seeking to boost loyalty and retention are making in-office work a requirement. However, it's crucial to acknowledge that an employee's relationship with their direct boss plays a more significant role in engagement than their physical work location. Meaningful conversations between managers and employees, ideally occurring at least once a week, are the building blocks of these connections.

And as we navigate these issues, we have to address the workplace stressors that hamper engagement and productivity. From low salaries and long hours to limited opportunities for growth, these stressors can have adverse effects on mental health, sleep, and even vulnerability to infections. It's essential to create a work environment that prioritizes employee well-being, fostering a thriving culture where stress finds no fertile ground.

We have an opportunity to approach a workplace renaissance with open minds and open hearts. Engaged workers are not only more productive but also tend to stay at their jobs longer. As we collectively strive for happier workers, we must recognize the correlation between job satisfaction, increased salaries, and finding positions that align with individual aspirations.

It is time to nurture engagement, build robust connections, and unlock the true potential of our teams. The future of work awaits, and it's up to us to shape it into a place where individuals flourish, organizations thrive, and greatness becomes the norm.

Thank you, and let's embark on this transformational journey together!


The Gallup State of the Global Workplace 2023 Report in a nutshell:

Globally, 41% of respondents said Engagement and Culture are the number one factor employees would change. Second at 28% is Pay and Benefits. Third at 16% was Wellbeing.

The United States and Canada

• Highest regional percentage of daily stress (tied with East Asia)

• Second highest regional percentage of employees who say now is a good time to find a job

• The highest regional percentage of female employees who experience high daily stress

Employee Engagement

THRIVING AT WORK - Engaged 31%

QUIET QUITTING - Not engaged 52%

LOUD QUITTING - Actively disengaged 17%

Daily Negative Emotions - Emotions experienced during a lot of the previous day.



View of the Job Market

JOB CLIMATE - Good time to find a job 71%

INTENT TO LEAVE - Watching for or actively seeking new job 47%

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