Survey Says: Women Leaders Want Flex Time, Balance, Engagement, Recognition

The new Gallup poll on the American workforce says women are more engaged in their work than men.

The new Gallup poll on the American workforce says women are more engaged in their work than men.

Consider this the Cliff Notes version. The skimming has been done for you, saving you time reading the 214 pages of Gallup’s latest tome, “State of The American Workplace,” with what you need to know as women leaders.Perhaps knowing where women leaders stand, we can work more efficiently toward the Take The Lead goal of achieving gender parity in leadership across all sectors by 2025.We picked 12 key factors from the Gallup study facing women leaders in the workplace today. Here’s the gist:We care about the balance. “Female employees are significantly more likely than male employees (60 percent vs. 48 percent, respectively) to say it is very important to them that their job allows greater work-life balance and better personal well-being. As organizations try to diversify their workforces and bring more women into a variety of roles, they cannot overlook the importance of work-life balance and personal well-being for this group of employees.”We are more engaged with our work than men. “Female employees are more engaged than male employees and have been throughout Gallup’s history of tracking the metric; 36 percent of women engaged, compared to 30 percent of men. Women are more engaged than men in every type of job including management, professional, service and support jobs. In leadership roles, however, men are more engaged than women (50 percent vs. 35 percent).[bctt tweet=“Gallup: Women are more engaged as employees than men, unless they are leaders. #womenleaders” username=“takeleadwomen”]Reasons women leaders say they are not engaged is about recognition. Engagement for women leaders is based on this: “My supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person. At work, my opinions seem to count. In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work. I know what is expected of me at work. I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right. There is someone at work who encourages my development.”Be real. “Too often, executive vice presidents are vague and generic, offering no compelling content that separates an organization from its competitors. The best EVPs, however, tap into the emotional and behavioral elements of work. These elements can be difficult to verbalize, but they matter when striving to create personal connections with potential and existing employees.”Show me the door. “Fifty-one percent of employees are searching for new jobs or watching for openings. With more people on the job hunt, organizations must hone their attraction strategies so they can more effectively recruit and hire sought-after candidates.”Many of us not working. “The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the percentage of the total U.S. adult population that has a  full-time job has been hovering around 48% since 2010 — the lowest full-time employment level since 1983. More jobs may be available, but they are not always the jobs people can or want to fill.”Leaders can improve engagement. “Improving engagement has to start with organizations closely examining how they attract, retain and engage employees — because the job market has become and will continue to be less about employees competing for roles and more about organizations competing for employees. Employees will continue to be aware of their options and search for new opportunities. Leaders have to create cultures that reflect the wants and needs of the modern workforce, regardless of job type or industry. They must give employees a reason to choose them, stay with them and perform at their best.”[bctt tweet=“Give employees a reason to stay. Be an authentic leader. #9LeadershipPowerTools” username=“takeleadwomen”]More than money matters. “Employees are less inclined to stay with a job simply because it provides them with a paycheck. They signed up for a certain experience, and if they do not get that experience, they are more than willing to look elsewhere.”Flex time, paid leave count. “If leaders want to compete for a  modern workforce, they should consider weaving some element of flexibility into their culture. More than half of office workers (54 percent) say they would leave their job for one that offers flexible work time.”Most people not engaged. “The majority of employees (51 percent) are not engaged and haven’t been for quite some time. Employee engagement has barely budged over the past decade and a half. At times, the metric has stagnated, and at other times, it has even retreated.”Why engagement matters. “Engaged employees make it a point to show up to work and do more work — highly engaged business units realize a 41 percent reduction in absenteeism and a 17 percent increase in productivity. Engaged workers also are more likely to stay with their employers. Highly engaged business units achieve 59 percent lower turnover.”Know your peeps. “One of the most powerful strategies a manager and organization can implement is providing employees with opportunities to apply the best of their natural selves — their talents — as well as their skills and knowledge.”[bctt tweet=“Get the highlights from the State of The American Workplace study here.” username=“takeleadwomen”]When you have a long weekend or a long plane ride, you can opt to go back to the Gallup original as it offers coaching tips and more. But know this, according to the report, “Leaders can’t survive on their own, nor do they have all the answers. Asking for and considering individuals’ input leads to more informed decision-making and better results.”