Our workforce is facing a crisis of engagement.
There’s a growing dissatisfaction across all sectors, and the discontent is multi-generational. Recent reports paint a stark picture:
- 50 million people left their jobs in great resignation (and counting)
- 53% of employees report that they are disengaged
- 50% of managers don’t know what’s expected of them
- 69% of all employees feel they are not living up to their capacity
- 90% feel there is no accountability at work
The research on all this is clear - people don’t quit jobs, they quit managers who lack interpersonal skills. And the cost of all this turnover is higher than we may fully realize.
Replacing a mid-level manager costs, on average, 150% of a worker’s salary. In industries such as math, sciences, healthcare and tech it costs far more than that to replace almost any skilled worker. When we account for the costs of recruiting and onboarding a replacement, and the lost productivity that occurs in the interim, the full cost can run as high as a million dollars per resignation.
If this climate continues, many organizations simply won’t survive.
What we have learned from the employee resource group movement is that organizations are being forced to define their values and drill down on cultural adaptation that supports a higher level of worker engagement and belonging.
But what are business “values,” and how do they impact the bottom line?
Values are different from the mission of an organization. Values define culture, which in turn impacts our behavior in both seen and unseen ways. Values are a two-way conversation between an individual and the larger system or culture that they are operating within.
When values collide, challenges are likely to follow.
The Values Disconnect
Workers experience cognitive dissonance when the values that a company promotes does not live up to expectations. And those dissatisfying interpersonal experiences only compound over time, resulting in a disengaged workforce.
This is especially important to consider given the national dip in productivity. Recent reports have cataloged what we’re currently experiencing as the biggest decline since the government started keeping track of these numbers back in 1948.
Employee lack of trust in organizations and institutions has become the new normal, especially within the most recent generation to enter the workforce.
To meet the challenges of these times, it’s important that we understand how values function, and the way in which values impact our thoughts, beliefs, and actions.
Principles that organize the structure of values (Schwartz, 2012)
According to the Schwartz Theory of Basic Values:
- Values are beliefs that are linked inextricably to human affect. When values are activated, they become infused with feeling. Those feelings, in turn, motivate commitment and action.
- Values transcend specific actions and situations. This distinguishes values from norms and attitudes that usually refer to specific actions, objects, or situations.
- Values are ordered by importance relative to one another. People’s values form an ordered system of priorities that characterize them as individuals and guide actions.
The combination of values that individuals or organizations uphold can help us to predict and understand employee attitudes and behaviors.
Often, employees are asked to embrace organizational values in the workplace to uphold a vision of shared culture without adequate instruction on how to do it.
- What are the specific behaviors that embody the company’s stated values?
- How do we know if we are living them?
- What, if anything, happens if we don’t?
Coaching As A Solution to Worker Disengagement
It’s time to rethink “culture.” To meet the demands of our times, a productive company culture must be:
- Defined publicly and demonstrated by leaders
- A model of shared values
- Visible in terms of who we are, how we act, how we treat each other, and how we treat our customers
All this requires support, training and investment.
Here’s where we come to our second disconnect. Employers continue to invest 75% of their professional development resources into cultivating hard skills. The corresponding underinvestment in the durable skills that are necessary to address employee disengagement is costing industry billions.
Research conducted by Harvard University, the Carnegie Foundation and Stanford Research Center tells us that only 15% of job success actually comes from technical skills and knowledge (hard skills). Believe it or not, 85% of an employee’s impact comes from having well‐developed people skills.
Employees at every level of an organization need concrete tools and frameworks to embody the behaviors and communication skills that are required for the everyday enactment of organizational values. This is what leads to the reinforcement of a strong and positive company culture, which in turn drives employee retention and higher levels of productivity.
So where does it begin?
Demonstrating the standard and modeling the way starts with managers and leaders.
This isn’t theoretical, it’s proven. Ford used a coaching model 10 years ago to turn around a sinking ship, and it worked. They now stand as a powerful example of what attending to people first can do for company culture, not to mention the bottom line.
Coach training arms workers with the tactical “how” behind what it means to create a culture of positive engagement. It provides evidence-based skill building in interpersonal effectiveness, including valuable skill development in areas such as:
- Personal presence and self-awareness
- Listening with the intent to understand
- Appreciative inquiry
- Effective summation and finding the bottom line
- Tapping into underlying values and motivations
- Identifying and addressing internal biases
- Techniques for empowering others versus micromanaging
- Holding a concurrent view of the self, others, and the wider world
- Mastering the use of empathy in relationship management
An ICF Coaching Credential is a valuable, visible and viable professional certificate that provides surety for an employer that a worker has been trained, supervised, and certified in the interpersonal skills that are necessary to engage in a culture that is values driven, supporting employee engagement and retention.
For individual employees:
Now it’s time to showcase to your boss what coaching can do to improve your organization, impact the bottom line, and create a culture of excellence across the board. Lumia Coaching offers an online coach training program that can help enhance your career.
Lumia Coaching offers custom, virtual ICF Coaching Certifications to train individuals within your organization in the specific behaviors required to enact shared values. An investment in training of this nature is a prudent move toward reducing talent loss and employee burnout now and in the future. To learn more, we invite you to schedule a call with Lumia CEO Noelle Cordeaux.
For all of us:
Heavy hitting human resource firms such as Gartner, academics like the Harvard Business Review, and publications such as the New York Times and Wall Street Journal are all calling for coaching skills to supplement hierarchical management practices as we know them today. According to Brian Kropp, chief of human resources research at Gartner, management of the future will require less technical experts, and more social-emotional expertise. In today’s market, the tools of coaching can give you a competitive advantage.
Ready to Get Started?
Coaching is a rapidly growing field that is continuously evolving. Even for seasoned managers, there’s always more to discover. If you’ve not already earned your coaching certification, there’s no better time than now to begin. Grounded in science, Lumia’s ICF accredited coach training program features authentic instructors, a robust curriculum, and fellow students dedicated to becoming a collective force for good.
Lumia Coaching: Vibrant community. Evidence-based life coach training. Lifetime support.