In, Break the Circle, a traditional children’s game, boys and girls form a circle by linking their hands together. One child, outside the circle, attempts to get to the inside by finding a weak link and breaking through to the inner circle. Like the child trying to break into the circle, many employees view themselves as on the “outside looking in.” They feel disconnected rather than motivated and engaged.
As reported in USA Today this week, employee morale has plunged to a three-year low and frustrated workers are griping, groaning and secretly sending out resumes. What leaders want, according to a report in the Ivey Business Journal, is an employee who “…is fully involved in, and enthusiastic about, his or her work…Engaged employees care about the future of the company and are willing to invest the discretionary effort, exceeding duty call, to see that the organization succeeds.” Unfortunately, according to MetLife’s 9th Annual Study of Employee Trends, many employers are unaware of the morale meltdown and think employees are just as loyal as they were three years ago.
“Businesses are understandably focused on expenses,” says Ronald Leopold, vice president of MetLife’s U.S. business. “But they’re taking their eye off the ball with human capital issues, notably what drives employee satisfaction and loyalty.”
To demonstrate interest and keep employees engaged, a recent HBR article, Powerlessness Corrupts, stresses the need to invest in ongoing inclusion and empowerment strategies. Leaders need to understand the difference between inclusive and non-inclusive behaviors and actions.
Innolect’s flip-focus guide, OutsideIN: Tips for Building an Engaging and Inclusive Environment describes how to engage and demonstrate inclusiveness in 5 areas:
- Decision Making
- Facilitation and Presentations
- Team Member Integration
- Employee Development and Coaching
- Stereotype-Free Communication