I can remember working for two different employers where communication was awful between management and myself. I didn’t know what they thought of me or my performance, and I didn’t know what their goals were, let alone how I fit into the equation. And statistics tell me I’m not alone. In fact, an astronomical portion of employees are feeling the same lack of relationship that I experienced with these previous employers.
Gallup found in recent research that 87% of employees worldwide and 71% of U.S. employees are disengaged. Some may think this is a lack of interest in the work they are in, but the reality is that it is a lack of relationship in the workplace. People will happily show up to work where people welcome them with open arms. Let’s face it – the paycheck doesn’t hurt, and individuals on both sides of the relationships being created are gaining a true connection from it. This truly is a win-win situation.
People need other people who care about them in the workplace. This is not only needed to fill one’s need for relationship, but it helps the overall workplace environment. Having relationships with the people you spend the most time with each day encourages excitement about work and can actually become contagious. Once you feel what it’s like to work alongside those you care most about, you won’t be able to go back to an anonymous environment.
By 2025, people ages 20-35 will comprise of 75% of the global workforce, and guess what they need most out of the companies they work for? Relationships. When the global marketing firm McCann WorldGroup conducted research and surveyed 7,000 people within this age group, they found more than 90% of those surveyed rated “connection and community” as their greatest need.
Business leaders, what does this mean for you? It means that you need to start putting practices in place that attracts these employees right now so you don’t lose out on opportunities now, or in the future. Stop only looking out for your own best interests, stop being a merciless tyrant, stop making yourself unaccessible to employees, and stop shutting down every idea that employees have, so that you get the credit. These actions don’t show that you are trying to grow you business or your influence, but rather it shows that you are a terrible leader to work for. Putting this type of environment in place lessens productivity, the decline of customer service will ensue, and you will be left with a mediocre business if it continues.
The relationships you are creating with others in your workplace dictates the environment you are cultivating, and it starts with you. The beautiful thing is that you can begin reaching out knowing that other people around you desire building relationships, as well. This means that you can stop hiding in your cubicle because you are there to “just work.” It means that you don’t have to watch the clock tick until it reaches 5pm in order to rush home, so that you can leave your depressing place of employment. Why don’t you have to do this anymore? Because relationships matter. Set the standard and others will follow.