There are three things every CEO wants. They wake up thinking about these three things, they go to sleep thinking about them, and pretty much every moment in between is consumed with the same three things.
Every CEO wants “Results, Results, Results”. They not only want results, but they want bigger results, and they want them faster.
Primarily, an increase in profits.
- An increase in revenue
- A decrease in expenses
- An increase in productivity
- An increase in employee retention
- A reduction in employee absences
- An increase in customer satisfaction
- A decrease in safety violations
- A decrease in product and/or service defects
You may ask, “How do you know”? Because for years, I was a CEO!
I also believe every CEO would agree that if they meet the expressed needs of a potential external customer, that customer would be willing to buy your products and/or services that you offer.
However, most CEOs do not understand the felt needs of their internal customers. Their internal customers are their employees. Interestingly, it is only through the hard work and help of their internal customers (employees) that CEOs can achieve the results they desire.
Extensive research compiled in Gallup’s recently released report, the “State of the American Workplace”, reveals that employees fall into one of three groups:
- 33% engaged: “Employees are highly involved in and enthusiastic about their work and workplace. They are psychological ‘owners,’ drive performance and innovation, and move the organization forward.”
- 51% not engaged: “Employees are psychologically unattached to their work and company. Because their engagement needs are not being fully met, they’re putting time — but not energy or passion — into their work.”
- 16% actively disengaged: “Employees aren’t just unhappy at work — they are resentful that their needs aren’t being met and are acting out their unhappiness. Every day, these workers potentially undermine what their engaged coworkers accomplish.”
With 67% of employees either disengaged or actively disengaged, these findings from Gallup are rather sobering. But every problem creates the opportunity for a solution!
And I see this as a huge opportunity to improve the American workplace by addressing the problems and creating cultures where people thrive and profits soar.
Well, what are the felt needs of employees (internal customers)? Most employees want from their organization to:
- Demonstrate that they care for them as an individual.
- Understand that they can and want to contribute toward the organization’s goals.
- Provide a culture where they have a sense of belonging.
- Create an environment of constant learning so they feel they can do their best.
- Stand for something that they feel good about – something they can support.
Why then is there such a gap/miss-alignment between what CEOs want and what employees want?
Is it possible that the CEO (or the leader of a division, a department or a function) is the one who is disengaged or actively disengaged? Is it time for the leader to take a good, long look at himself or herself in the mirror?
Everything rises and falls on leadership.
– John Maxwell
In his book, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, John Maxwell’s very first chapter reveals the “The Law of the Lid” and states:
“Leadership ability is always the lid on personal and organizational effectiveness. If a person’s leadership is strong, the organization’s lid is high. But if it’s not, then the organization is limited. That’s why in times of trouble, organizations naturally look for new leadership.”
Is it possible the reason the CEOs (and the leaders of a division or department) are not having the results they so much desire is because they are the “lid” to their organization’s successful results?
Well, I’ve got good news for all leaders, regardless of where you work!
I’m about to share one of the best ways for you to start bridging the gap between what you want and what your people desire. This can be your first step toward engaging your employees with a participative leadership style that I call Engage2Lead – specifically by employing the 1-2-3 leadership tool.
What is 1-2-3?
1-2-3 is a unique approach to the decision-making process defined as:
At the very beginning of the decision-making process— AND before making a decision – the empowering leader seeks input from his or her employees. Such a leader asks:
1. Who can help me make a better decision?
2. Who will have to carry it out?
3. Who will be impacted by it?
Your answers to the three questions above will guide you to assemble the right people and involve them, as appropriate to help you make important decisions. The 1-2-3 approach reminds leaders to engage and involve their people in the decision-making process.
By doing so, every leader can develop a more effective and efficient TEAM while maintaining and enhancing relationships. Asking these three simple questions–and acting on them–can consistently produce better results (even extraordinary results beyond your imagination)!
Remember: This is not decision-making by a committee. You, as the leader, must still decide to make the final decision.
Mr. or Ms. CEO/leader, you can still drive for results AND at the same time enhance relationships with your people by engaging your employees with a participative leadership style – like Engage2Lead. And one of the best Engage2Lead tools at your disposal is the 1-2-3 leadership tool.
Every CEO wants three things: results, results, results. But the research says employees want something different. As a leader, are you driving so hard for results that your employees have become disengaged or actively disengaged? Are you open to a participative leadership style? Please share your thoughts <here> and please share this blog post with a friend or co-worker.
P.S. I often receive the question, “Why do Millennials (born 1980 – 2006) change employers with greater frequency than Gen Xers (born 1965 – 1979) or Baby Boomers (born 1946 – 1964)?”
It is interesting the needs of Millennials are no different than anyone else regardless which generation you may be referring to.
The Millennials are just much bolder about asking employers to provide for their needs. If their needs are not met, they just let their feet do their walking to another employer. And because most Millennials do not have a family to support nor many financial burdens or obligations, they are less likely to be bound by the fears that often accompany changing employers.