When teams or entire organizations implode, it’s rarely due to poor business strategy or a lack of skill from higher-ups or employees. More often, the breakdown is caused by a lack of gratitude and appreciation throughout the organization’s culture.
A lot of my work with leaders and teams is centered around how to increase and sustain employee engagement. When people first begin their jobs, they are typically fully engaged, but this initial enthusiasm eventually fades into "what's next?" or thinking the bamboo grass is greener on the other side of the fence.
Thanks to constant distractions from email, social media, and other technologies, the average human attention span according to a recent study has dwindled to just 8 seconds, not much more than a guppy. In addition, there's increasing pressure to get more done at work and work longer hours—these productivity hindrances can be especially detrimental to engagement and team growth.
In my work as a professional speaker and leadership trainer, I've learned a great deal about how strong organizational cultures are created and maintained. One of the biggest roadblocks to an effective organizational culture I see again and again is the mission and values of the organization are misaligned with how decisions are made. Whether it comes in the form of miscommunication or power imbalances, misaligned purpose begets a sub-par organizational culture.
Strong communication is the foundation upon which all lasting relationships are built. In the workplace, strong communication leads to more engaged employees, decreased turnover rate, and improved overall performance. But if all these benefits sound great, then why is modern communication so difficult?
I have been fortunate to work with a lot of great leaders and teams over the years; I have also witnessed my share of challenging teams.
A recent Gallup study indicated that over 71 percent of the workforce is either not engaged or actively disengaged. This has caused many leaders and organizations to put large amounts of effort and energy into holding their employees accountable.