Are you overwhelmed and stressed at work? Turns out 30% of ALL workers are. Wherever you are in an organization, you're probably seeing some stress, exhaustion, burnout, and maybe even resignations.
What’s worse: 56% of employees believe their bosses don't even care about how they are faring under the strain of a post-Covid workplace. Meanwhile 90% of bosses believe their employees are happy with leadership’s engagement on well-being and work-life balance.
Knowledge workers today won't tolerate jobs that make them unhappy, stressed, burned out, and undervalued. So if nearly 60% of your employees think you don’t care about them, it’s a problem.
Executives say they "plan" to address employee wellness, they “want” a collaborative office culture, and they "care" about their employees. Yet, employees are reporting that their companies are taking little or no action.
What’s causing this inertia?
- 20% of C-suite leaders are overwhelmed and don’t know where to start...(Counter: successful businesses understand to bring in help, so this doesn’t hold up.)
- 18% don’t feel qualified to take ownership of these areas...(They're EXECUTIVES. They are qualified and have a responsibility.)
- 17% don’t have enough funding (but 83% do, so...)
- 16% don't have support from other executives (if those "other" executives don't want to support well-being, why are they on the team?)
Employees, especially mid-level managers, are tired of “training” programs that provide a nice metric for the annual report but no meaningful change.
Consider your annual dollar-investment in DEI training as an example. According to Harvard Business Review in 2019, “evidence has shown that diversity training can backfire, eliciting defensiveness from the very people who might benefit most. And even when the training is beneficial, the effects may not last after the program ends.”
Add in the disconnect effects of virtual work, and companies are making expensive investments in “training” that has potentially toxic results.
The Solution: Realign the Company with its Values
If your company’s core values include encouraging and supporting a happy, healthy, enthusiastic work culture, you need a values-alignment exercise.
“If there’s a fire you’re trying to douse, you can’t put it out from inside the house.” -Lin Manuel-Miranda
Hiring an organizational behavior consultant to conduct a values-alignment assessment of your workplace culture is critical, especially before any major initiatives or changes take place. Values-alignment is the most effective way to prepare employees and leaders for change. By asking hard questions of everyone, the mission, vision, and values of the company move from an abstract to a real decision-making and accountability framework.
Asking leaders and managers to consider: What do you really want for your employees? For yourself? When you launched this company or took the helm, what were your goals? Who in the company are leaders of a firm culture you want to strengthen? Are there policies and systems that could help guide behavior?
By inviting a consultant to assess the culture of your organization, a new set of eyes can identify and address previously-unexplored awkward or uncomfortable topics. A fresh voice can ask these questions, including how many employees think your sexual harassment training is a colossal waste of time? Or why some people are adamantly opposed to returning to in-person work?
There’s no one-size-fits all solution to strengthening an organization’s workforce, no one way to start the journey back your own principles, but it’s time to try. By bringing in a skilled navigator to advise, executives can come to understand the varying needs of their workforce they may have previously overlooked.
Aligning a company's brand and values with actionable human-centric structure is the path forward in business. Get on this bus or continue to, literally, suffer.