Jim Harter: Gallup’s Guidance On Leading In The Post-Pandemic Workplace

Seemingly overnight, the COVID pandemic caused a massive societal transformation — a structural change in how and where people work and live. And while we may be hearing that CEOs is general still have dreams of having all of their employees back in the office five days a week as they once did, the truth is that nothing is going back to normal.

Perhaps because it’s long been uncertain as to whether or not remote working would endure, organizations have yet to fully embrace the new reality and adapt their leadership practices accordingly. In other words, they’ve yet to master managing people who work in the office some days and in the office on others. And, in many cases, they’ve failed to give employees clear direction on expectations.

By all important measures – engagement, well-being and employee retention – the evidence is clear that most people today are poorly managed. Employee engagement has fallen to a seven-year low, just 20% of workers feel strongly connected to their organization’s culture – and turnover (at least in the US) has set records for two consecutive years.

To punctuate all of this, Microsoft’s Chief Human Resource Officer, Kathleen Hogan wrote an article titled, “We Are Experiencing A Global Human Energy Crisis.” Her assertion was that workers everywhere have become highly dispirited by traditional leadership practices and that companies are suffering for it as a result.

In fortuitous timing, Gallup has been ahead of the curve in identifying all the pivots organizations need to make at this important inflection point, and we’ve invited Jim Harter – Gallup’s long-time Chief Scientist and founder of the firm’s longstanding engagement and well-being studies – to be our first three-time guest.

Along with Gallup Chairman, Jim Clifton, Harter has just writtenCulture Shock: An Unstoppable Force Has Changed How We Work And Live. Gallup’s Solution To The Biggest Issue Of Our Time,” a book that will be published in late May.

How do we solve society’s energy crisis? How to companies re-engage their people and ensure they feel a greater connection to its mission and people? How can managers ensure their employees with hybrid working schedules remain highly productive?  These are just some of the important leadership questions we discuss in this invaluable episode.

By Mark C. Crowley

Mark C. Crowley is the author of Lead From The Heart: Transformational Leadership For The 21st Century which has been taught in 11 American universities. He is a global speaker, leadership consultant and thought leader on the topics of workplace culture and employee engagement.