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  • Writer's pictureRobert Norton

What's been hard for you?

Updated: Jun 24, 2022

In Gallup's 2021 random sample of more than 57,000 employees, just over one-third of employees (34%) were engaged, and 16% were actively disengaged. This marked the first year in over a decade in which engagement in the U.S. declined.

Losing sight of the fundamentals was a key driver for the drop-off. The three survey items contributing to the plummeting scores were:

1. Clarity of expectations

2. Having the materials and equipment to be successful

3. Having the opportunity to do what they do best

In the healthcare industry, which saw a whopping 12% decline in engagement, employees were significantly less likely to report that someone at work cared about them or encouraged their development.

Leaders who want to stem the tide of employee disenchantment have to give employees their most valuable gift: their undivided attention.

If there is one magical question a leader should ask their employees, it's this one: What has been challenging for you lately?

This question is powerful because it invites the employee to drop their guard and level with you. It's also a little scary for leaders because it opens the door for the employee to lay problems on the table that the leader can't solve.

Ask it anyway.

The simple act of intently listening and acknowledging the reality facing employees today is a step worth taking.

Source: / U.S. Employee Engagement Drops for the First Year in a Decade


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