There’s a disconnect between what employees want and what everyone else thinks they want
Deloitte tells us that Executive Leaders routinely underestimate how much their people are struggling by almost 50%.
- 90% of Executives say they understand how hard the pandemic has been, but only 47% of staff agree.
- Only 56% of workers feel that their executives care about their wellbeing – compared to 91% of executives who think that their people know they care.
Skills Consulting Group’s Work Wellbeing Index shows that even HR is getting it wrong. When asked does my company care about my well-being, employees said 60%, and HR said 80%. And while it’s not 50%, that’s still a big gap.
How do you know if you’ve ‘got the gap’?
- Your trust levels are low: Gartner research shows that since the pandemic 41% of employees have lower trust in their teams and 37% have lower trust in their leadership.
- You have high levels of change resistance: Accenture tells us that only 1 in 6 workers feel connected to their workplace colleagues, and without it, no reason to return.
- You’re experiencing the quiet resignation: The World Economic forum calls this “the art of not taking work too seriously”, which of course drives Gen X and Baby Boomers (aka your Executive) mad because for them, work is deadly serious – life-defining in fact. But not for the majority of the workplace today.
- You’re experiencing the great resignation: I don’t think anyone needs this explained – people everywhere are moving jobs. But do you know why they are leaving you and what you could have done about it? The top three reasons that keep coming are workload, career opportunity and empowerment. If your team are overwhelmed, have nowhere to go, and little personal agency, you’re opening the door for them.
How do we bridge the gap?
Take more care
The workplace wellbeing index shows that genuine care has the biggest impact on overall wellbeing. And that means connecting twice a week on how people are feeling, not just what they are working on.
Empower faster issue resolution
If you’re holding all the decisions at the top, then you’re causing pain at the bottom as issues don’t get resolved and people lose their autonomy. Start addressing your decision-making frameworks now.
Stop expecting ‘over and above’ as the standard
Quiet quitting is simply workers following their job spec to the letter, and no more. China’s ‘lying flat’ movement was quiet quitting and was heavily censured by the government – sending the message that ‘only doing what’s in your job spec is not ok’. Don’t send that message! If you want your people to perform over and above their job spec as the norm, then rewrite the job spec and pay a different rate. Or you risk sounding both entitled and draconian.
Many of my clients make the mistake of undersharing. This comes from a place of care – they don’t want to share issues unless they have a resolution for them. Or a place of fear – there are things they are afraid of talking about in case it’s taken the wrong way. As a result there is a herd of elephants in the room driving a wedge between workforce and leaders. Saying nothing about topics like return to office thinking, organisational change likelihood, or financial difficulties sends a message that either you’re hiding something (which you might be, albeit for nice reasons), you don’t trust them to handle the truth (they are grown-ups, come on), or you think it’s a secret (It never is. If more than 8 people know, everyone knows).
The missing link in all of this is often the relationship between C-Suite and B-Suite. The B-Suite are a neglected cohort, but even more importantly they are often a forgotten cohort – a forgotten powerhouse for communication, expectation management, problem-solving and care-giving.
Set them free.
Celebrating B-suite Leaders
Award-winning Leader, Laura White shares with me what she does differently as a B-Suite Leader.
Rebecca is Australia’s pre-eminent advocate for B-suite leadership – the expert in developing hi-impact B-Suite leadership at both a team and individual level.
Speak to Rebecca about:
- Individual and group coaching
- Team effectiveness and training
- People & Culture Advisory
You can reach her on email@example.com