The Gallup Organisation reveal that the proportion of the workforce who are actively engaged with the business they work with is as low as 13%. There are variations from country to country, for sure, but the average is 13%. The UK is just below 13%.
That means that 87% of the workforce is disengaged or enraged. That is a staggering number. Of course, some of the 87% will not only be disengaged but will be actively disengaged. That means that they will be actively working against the business they work with. Think about what that means. They will be deliberately sabotaging everything that you are trying to put in place; not just being apathetic or begrudgingly compliant but actively sabotaging the things that the business is trying to do. In some circumstances, we would call that person a terrorist.
I have said on many occasions that when we employ someone all we ever do is buy so much of their time from them. Whether they choose to bring their talents, their flair, their abilities, their creativity to the workplace with them is exactly that. It is their choice. That is a choice that can be influenced by their leader and I believe the best leaders are those who cause us to bring the best of us to the workplace every day. To play at a higher level, to commit and to contribute.
I know, of all the people I have worked for and with over my career, there have been some I would walk through walls for; they made me feel good, powerful, valued and integral to the mission of the business. I am also slightly embarrassed to admit that there were a few who did just the opposite. They caused me to feel invisible, ineffective and unimportant.
The interesting thing is whether I was part of the 13% or the 87% I was the same person. The difference was the leader. Research also shows that the greatest factor in deciding which group we fall into is our immediate manager. Engaged people are over 20% more productive. That is why good managers are so valuable and why bad managers are so costly.
As a business owner, you are a business leader de facto. Your success depends on a number of things and the amount that you can enrol and enlist your team members has to be a major, if not the major, factor in this.
Anyone is capable of being a leader but not everyone makes the investment, does the research or does the hard yards to become a good leader. If they aren’t prepared to do that they are likely to be rewarded with the 87% who are either disengaged or enraged. We reap what we sow. Where do you think you and your business would fall in a similar survey I wonder?