American workers are disengaged, exhausted, unable to focus, and bordering on quiet quitting, according to a poll from Gallup — so what can managers do to help?
The modern state of work is in flux due to persistent and chronic burnout. Gallup's poll states that the majority of workers believe their leaders aren't investing in creating a positive office culture and that they don't have a sense of purpose at work. Companies are valuing productivity and profits over employee experience, according to Insider, and leadership isn't listening to employee complaints.
Another study from Gartner says that employees need a supportive boss in order to feel happy and healthy at work, but only 25% of employees believe they have one.
According to Jasmine Hill, the Chief Executive Officer of Radiant Slate Consulting, this problem needs to be solved through the efforts of leadership. To Hill, CEOs are responsible for developing a supportive culture that values employee mental health over arbitrary productivity measures. In the Gallup poll, employees who report that their job positively impacts their mental health are also more likely to report that they feel a sense of purpose at work. This, experts say, is the key to facilitating productive and satisfied employees who won't quietly quit.
"Opening your ear to employees to find out what's going right and wrong is smart business," Real Estate Magnate and Shark Tank star Barbara Corcoran told CNBC. "You avoid many plane crashes by regularly asking people, 'How's it going?' before really listening to their answer. It’s always nice to get a compliment, but there’s real gold in well-intentioned criticism from a loyal employee. The only way you’ll get the gold is by actively listening."
Michelle Tenzyk, the CEO of East Tenth Group, adds that an employee's mental health and well-being is, in many ways, the responsibility of leadership, as leaders are the ones who are tasked with opening up the conversation about mental health. Tenzyk tells Insider that mental health days should be encouraged and working hours should be upheld. Nothing will make employees feel worse than working endlessly without feeling connected to what they're doing. Ultimately, working hard without a sense of purpose makes one feel like an unappreciated cog in a useless machine — something managers can fix with the right guidance.