Workplaces are facing a crisis of engagement as fewer workers feel connected to their employment, but one company’s new way of approaching management might be a way to fix that.
- Employee engagement is reaching new lows, according to a recent Gallup survey.
- Around one-third of workers described themselves as feeling engaged at work. Another 18% said they are “actively disengaged.”
- In answer to this growing problem, virtual assistant platform Time Etc, has replaced its managers with coaches, leaders who give feedback and promote professional development, Fortune reports.
- Since implementing this system and revamping its company culture, Time Etc says it has seen increased productivity and employee engagement.
Why it’s news
Employee engagement began to drop around the same time that companies were experiencing the Great Resignation—suggesting a connection between the two. Though the Great Resignation is largely over, employee engagement has remained low compared to previous levels.
Disengaged employees who feel undervalued are likelier to quit than other employees, but those who stay are less productive. The pandemic-era trend of quiet quitting is also closely related to these disengaged employees. The trick for employers is finding a way to re-engage their employees and boost productivity again.
Time Etc founder and CEO Barnaby Lashbrooke says that his company decided to ask the employees what they were looking for in their managers. Lashbrooke found that the qualities his employees described sounded like a coach rather than a manager—so he decided to make a switch.
Similarly to managers, coaches at Time Etc give employees goals, manage productivity, and help out in a crisis. However, they also offer feedback, mentoring, and encourage professional development. Lashbrooke says that self-improvement is an integral part of the company culture, and coaches help foster that in the employees.
Along with educational tools, workshops, and talks from outside experts, the company focuses on building up its employees for success. Lashbrooke says using the model of coaches has increased the company’s productivity.
Using the same metrics as the Gallup survey, Time Etc ranked itself in the top 1% of most engaged teams after implementing these managerial changes.
Lashbrooke says employees take fewer sick days, turnover is lower, and performance goals have improved by 20%.
“No change is ever completely plain sailing, and there’s been some kinks to iron out. Coaching calls for a different set of skills than traditional management, and we quickly realized that we needed to do more to equip our coaches with the tools and knowledge required. Lashbrook wrote in Fortune. “But overall, the gains have been so significant that there’s no going back for us.”