When the going gets tough, do employees get going? Or do they just go?
A new study raises red flags about the commitment of today’s workforce to the companies for which they work, said Steven Glaser, CEO of Information Control Co. in Columbus, Ohio. Part of the challenge is a shift to a younger demographic with different work styles, business requirements and skill sets.
“Engaged employees – especially millennials — are the future of business,” Glaser said. “But they are not engaged. This has to change. Without them, there will not be anyone to replace baby boomers who are beginning to retire en masse.”
Only 30 percent of employees say they are engaged by their jobs and their company, according to a recent Gallup study. Engaged employees are ones who put in the extra hours to complete a project they initiated, are enthusiastic and interact more with other employees. Glaser offers four tips on how to cultivate these types of employees:
Change your culture if necessary. If your culture isn’t open, honest and attuned to employee’s needs, people will simply put in time, dreaming of the day they resign. Every employee wants to be respected and feel rewarded. It’s up to the employer to show employees how they can enhance their learning, hone their skills and advance their careers.
Focus on leadership. When interviewing potential leaders, look for a solid work record of performance but also make sure they will be a solid cultural fit. Dig down to understand how they think about life and work. Do they really understand engagement — the attributes of being a leader and mentor?
Provide opportunities for growth. The workplace is filling up with a new generation of employees and 30-something managers with different expectations. To meet these expectations, managers need to stop being bosses and become team leaders and mentors.
Give them the tools they want (and need). The next wave of leaders collaborates. Millennials have grown up with continuous access to information. Give this generation the collaborative tools and technology they need and want, and turn them loose.
“I cannot emphasize enough how the long-term success of any organization depends upon the continued growth of its people,” Glaser said. “When they see opportunities for advancement and recognition, they become dedicated to their employer and enthusiastic about their work. They become engaged.”