I bet you're at the 15% mark...

Have you ever read something that was so fascinating yet so alarming? I just did. It’s the Manager, a study by Gallup focusing on the future of work was eye opening, but not in the way we would hope.


I’ll let you in on the top thing that I took away from the book, It’s the Manager: only 15% of the workforce is engaged. I read that, and had to read it again to make sure I saw the number right. Statistically, that means that 17 out of 20 of your employees are disengaged at work.


As a manager or leader, maybe you are saying: “that’s not my company or team.” Well I am here to tell you: your wrong. We cannot get comfortable in our own skin and sit in denial that this statistic is us, or will be us very soon. But rather we need to face it head on. How do you even begin to do this though? You start embodying these two data driven behaviors recommended by Gallup:


  1. You work to bring teams together
  2. You make choices that are GREAT


But now you are asking, how in the world do I actually implement this when you are already strapped down with a workload bigger than yourself.  


One way to accomplish ‘bringing the teams together,’ is asking yourself: what do you actually need to be successful. Go to other teams and create ideas that can help you grow. Go to your manager and ask for support, find other teams to support the initiatives that you work to accomplish! Just find support! Then you can make you choices based on the support you receive and the ideas you have created.


Other ideas include being data driven in your great choices! Find out what really works and be consistent. At the beginning it will feel like a trial and error. That sweet spot will come though, and there will be signs of growth. If not, change it up, and be unique to your company and culture!


Be transparent about your choices with your team, as well as your support system, so that you can be held accountable as well. We all are learning as the world of work is changing. And ask for their opinion on the topic. If they can’t stand behind the choice, then how can they find value in what they are working on. Make it a goal to listen to the people the choices will affect.


Lastly. Don’t be afraid to fail in this. I think often we see this road of ‘management’ and become overwhelmed by the amount of options we have to make our organization or team successful. But we also cannot learn unless we try. I often find that it’s like walking up a sand dune: one step forward, two steps back. It feels slow, but good things come out of slow. We need to think about what we value and how our choices impact our mission.

Check out It’s the Manager for more insightful tips and tricks to be different from the status quo.

Teams also need to get away and have time to think together and reflect together. Be able to spend just an hour to be curious about each other. -Denise Van Eck, Owner of Thought Design

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