Only 15% of all employees worldwide work with dedication. A Gallup study says so.
Personally, I believe that the statement is true and I take it out of my mind to reinterpret it. I believe that 15% of all employees are motivated to go beyond their limits in their work because they understand what they are doing it for. Because they know the target and can identify with it.
Lack of information
Whenever I personally come to colleagues with questions or problems of my customers, would like to solve them and I do not experience any support, I always find out that either the company’s goals were not understood in this case or the personal situation of the colleague is hopeless in some way. This can be hopelessness or overstraining. The latter can have many characteristics. And yes, I too have had such moments. And to be honest, these moments have always hurt me in some way. It doesn’t feel good not being able to support someone.
The more I relate this study to my personal experience in four companies as an employee and in dozens of client companies, the more I understand one thing. The majority of the highly cited 15% are people who work in the vicinity of the managers or are themselves active in management. It is the 15% that are well reached by the executives. The level of information provided by these people is significantly higher than that of the remaining 85%.
It’s often „up there“ and some talents.
To lead you must feel and believe
But it’s not that simple. The fact that Gallup has been able to publish such a study for a long time shows one thing above all else. There is a lack of leadership – and this has nothing to do with hierarchy in my view – of people who have a feeling for people. There are too many analysts in such positions. People who understand processes. People who optimize numbers. We need people who feel feelings. And create – even more important – feelings.
In the history of mankind, it has always been the case that people were able to perform at their best when they saw themselves as part of a greater being. This is exactly what happened when a visionary could arouse enthusiasm. In times of digitalization and electrification, Elon Musk is such a person for me. He is an executive with a vision which he clearly expresses. But he is also someone who has already done the work of each employee himself and does it EVERY time an accident happens where one of his employees gets hurt, believing in something. He lives for it and most importantly, he is committed to ensuring that EVERYONE of his employees can experience it.
During my military service I heard a saying, the value of which I only appreciate today. A superior in the army – yes, there is a strict hierarchy – should always „lead by example“. He may only expect and demand from the people entrusted to him what he is willing to do. This requires a great deal of closeness, dedication and intuition for his counterpart.
It is the same in sport at world level. The athlete is as good as the coach can be. With the right guidance, blind trust and the right environment, athletes are capable of performance that they have never believed in before. It stands and falls with how they are led to these.
I am firmly convinced that when it comes to leadership, I believe that those who are more responsive to people who focus on the individual’s needs with the aim of maximizing the company’s success not only deliver 85% more performance, but also the 15% who are already committed.
Trust is the competitive advantage for companies
There’s only one thing at stake. The feeling of safety in the workplace. safety to do the right thing and have fun.
I can also call this feeling of security trust and basically the mechanics, which I have observed in the military, in sports and in companies with good management is always the same. It was a giving and taking in equal quantity and quality. Subconsciously we humans are always attentive to balance and this would be in our deepest inner being. Are we treated fairly? It’s the law of reciprocity. So if we give closeness and information and are authentic at the same time, we will get the same back.
The difficult thing about this topic is that ONE person has to go with this gift of trust in advance in order to get it back. And here is from my point of view the reason why, according to Gallup, only so few people are committed to their work. Most companies do not support this advance performance.
In most cases, companies nowadays have to be organized flexibly in order to be able to respond to the increasing demands of digitalization. Not just to react, but to act. And this is exactly where trust is the EXISTING CONDITION for such an organisation.
In an economy of speed, the company has the advantage of having confidence. Once I work in a network, this is built on a relationship and what is the basis of such a relationship? Trust gives me access to knowledge and enables me to make quick decisions. With trust I make my work more economical.
Yes, trust has the risk of being exploited, but that’s where it becomes personal performance. A distinguishing feature in a perceived insecure world that allows others and myself to feel freedom.
The first four steps on the way to success
If you now ask yourself, how can I start with it, how do I go into this advance payment and how do I make trust possible, you get a simple answer:
- Make yourself vulnerable.
- Reduce controls, make information accessible.
- Hiring employees who can outperform you
- Eliminate framework conditions that are not trustworthy (e. g. target agreements with bonus systems).
I need to open myself and my organization to succeed.
If you are looking for more information of building a good team, I firmly recommend this article.
In this sense, dear executives. Move. Move towards your colleagues and trust them.