Skip to content

Wellbeing Creating Thriving Teams in the Post Pandemic Workplace

Category: On-Demand Programs: Human Resources
Screenshot of the video Wellbeing Creating Thriving Teams in the Post Pandemic Workplace

This recording is from the Future of Museums Summit held November 1-2, 2023.

Over the past three decades, Gallup has conducted extensive interviews with 2.7 million employees from over 4,300 companies generating over 1.5 billion survey responses. Through this research, Gallup has confirmed that a fulfilling job with engaging work serves as the foundation for a thriving life. But what does it truly mean to thrive in one’s job? In this presentation, gain a deeper understanding of what matters most to employees, the organizational culture that fosters overall thriving, and the obstacles in reaching an ideal destination – a place where every employee can thrive.

Speaker: Jim Harter, Chief Scientist, Workplace Management & Well-being, Gallup


Jim Harter: Hi, everybody, hope you can hear me okay. Put something in chat if you’re having any issues with the volume. My name is Jim Harter Chief Scientist, Workplace Management & Well‑being, Gallup and looking forward to having a discussion with you today. We’ll talk about the workplace.

I want to talk about some of the trends we are seeing in our data. Just to give you some perspective, we survey in 125 different countries around the world, plus annually, and really get to know how people’s lives are going around the world, been doing that since 2005. We have a United States panel we survey quarterly and annually about 72,000 respondents in that where we are keeping track of ongoing trends and current events related to the workplace and other topics. We have got about 57 million employees in our employee engagement data boss, tracking people inside of organizations and thousands of organizations around the world and what’s going on in their work lives and linking that back to performance outcomes that are relevant to those organizations.

Then we know the strengths of about 31 million people across the world, so that ‑‑ people use strengths to leverage performance in a lot of different ways. In their jobs and in their lives overall. We put a lot of effort into that science as well and millions of people, we also studied how they fit into their jobs through our selection methodology.

So all that research goes into what I’ll talk with you about here today. I wanted to start, though, by talking about some of the prepandemic trends. And then go into what is well‑being look like right now, how is it trending in the you and across the world. How impact as hybrid and remote work had on people’s lives and what can we do it about. What organizations can do in this new world of work that we are experiencing right now?

So in terms of some of the patterns we saw prepandemic, there’s really been a shift in terms of what younger workers are looking for in their jobs. This started well before the pandemic hit, many years ago, where we started learning that there’s new criteria for what people want in their work, they don’t come to work for a paycheck, of course that’s important to everybody, not the primary objective. Looking for a job with a purpose where they can connect their work to a larger purpose. They don’t just want to settle for satisfying job, they want one that improves development over time. They don’t want to settle on having a boss at work, wants someone who coaches them continuously, has ongoing conversations with them, not just an annual review but has conversations with them and helps them develop over time.

And they don’t just want a manager who focuses on their weaknesses, of course critique is important, but they want a manager who focuses primarily on their strengths and helps them leverage their strengths to improve performance, and they are very savvy about the fact that work and life are integrated and that work and having a job are not necessarily as separate as they once were, and that life affects work and life affects work and they do expect that their job will impact their life overall, that they aren’t just separate entities, but that work can play and should play a very important role in improving the lives of people. It makes a lot of sense when you think about how much time, it’s one of the events in their lives where they spend most of their time, is doing our work for those that are in the work force right now. So those trends all existed before the pandemic.

If you think about how those trends impact as we begin to have more remote work, it makes a lot of sense why we have some of the things we are seeing right now where people are demanding more from their work than they ever have before. Jut but from a well‑being standpoint, I wanted to help you know the elements of well‑being we found in our global research, does impact how people interpret their overall life and whether they have thriving lives and good days. These are important to keep in mind as we think about building organizations high functioning and resilient over time through the changes we experience. First and foremost, as I mentioned, people want to have a career where they have a job they like to do, where they get fulfillment out of their work on a daily Bosnia. That extends to people in the work force and outside the work force and really comes to down to what do you do, one of the first things we ask people when we talk with them, what do you do and whether you’re retired or in the work force or whether you’re a student. Career well‑being. The first two most foundational to getting life right. Do you have meaningful friendships in your life overall.

Financial well‑being isn’t about the amount of money they make, how that you manage their money to decrease stress. Comes down to how people manage their money effectively to have high financial well‑being. Physical well‑being, we all know that there’s some predispositions in terms of disease burden. How do we manage our lives, so we have maximized the energy we have to get done what we need to get done on a daily basis.

Then community well‑being is at a basic level, living in a safe area, having housing and some of the basic resources, but at a high level, it’s liking where you love and being involved in your community in a way where you feel like you can gulf back.

These are all elements somewhat independent or also interdependent, they depend on each other if we get our lives right. Career well‑being is foundational. All five relate to mental health outcomes and getting our lives right from a mental health perspective. And an emotional health perspective.

Those are five areas organizations can all do something about through the resources they provide to employees, but also how they direct people to the right resources by managers, knowing what’s going on in their work and life in a that’s comfortable for each person they manage. Think about these as a foundation to direct a lot of actions toward and what kind of break down the trends here.

When these five elements are going right in people’s lives, there’s all kinds of better outcomes, more likely to be thriving in their overall lives, less likely to be diagnosed with depression. If they’re thriving in none of the elements, 37 percent probability of being diagnosed with depression.

If they’re driving in all five ‑‑ thriving in on all elements,

Burnout, significantly higher, if they’re thriving in fewer of those elements. If they’re thriving in all five, 9 percent probability of being burnt out. Anxiety is significantly lower.

They’re thriving in more of those five elements. Disease burden cost is cut in half if people are thriving in all five elements versus none of them.

So there’s a lot of important outcomes important to organizations and resilience that are important and related to those five elements that I just listed. Sigh lot of reason to pay attention to them if we’ll build the right kind of workplaces going forward.

Globally in the workforce we have seen increases in stress, a peak up since 2000, about 5 point increase in the percentage of people that say they’ve experienced a lot of stress the previous day. The upward trend didn’t just start with the pandemic, it goes all the way back to 2009. There’s been a gradual increase. There’s been some patterns in our work and our life and the intersection of work and life that have caused more stress globally. That figure you’ll see in our state of the global workplace report, how much that varies across different regions of the world.

And it’s an important statistic to keep tracking, it’s one we think it’s important that organizations put the right resources in place and the right infrastructure in place to reduce stress as much as possible so that people can have high flow states at work where they get absorbed in their work, get a lot done and be fulfilled.

Another pattern we have seen recently is that people are less likely now, there’s a peak up on this statistic during the first part of the pandemic, we asked people whether they feel their organizations cares about their overall well‑being. That’s been in the 20 percent range, peaked up to close to half of people during the first part of the pandemic and now it’s dropped back.

And so this is one to keep ‑‑ to keep track of. We are keeping track of it in the U.S., in particular, where we have been tracking that statistic all the way back to 2010.

It’s something organizations can do about ‑‑ do something about whether people feel that the organization cares about their overall well‑being. Again, through the resources they provide, but also how they upscale managers to have the right kind of conversations with people and make work a fulfilling and comfortable part of someone’s life and one that really benefits someone’s overall life.

Another trend is employee engagement. This is the career element, also bleeds into the social element of well‑being that we have been tracking for some time in the U.S. We saw a significant upward trend in employee engagement over time. This is how involved and enthusiastic people feel about their work and works place. Seen that in the U.S. and seen it drop since the pandemic and starting to rebound now a little bit in 2023. Globally, we have gone from 12 percent up to 23 percent. We saw a dip in 2020 globally in the percent of engaged employees, now at 23 percent.

It is encouraging that millions of people have now better work than they have in the past. We have a lot of work to do. To give you some hope, look at the top dotted line, those are organizations we award as Gallup exceptional workplace award winning organizations, they typically don’t start at high levels of employee engagement, but they’re averaging in the 70s. Now 72 percent of engaged employees. That U.S. statistic at 33 can more than double if we put the right practices in place, and the global statistic can triple or more if we put the right practices in place.

Those are global organizations in different industries, so this isn’t just an industry phenomenon, not just a regional phenomenon, organizations can improve employee engagement if they get the route resources in place. If they have clear communication, if they have a strategy about why engagement’s important to their organization and if they upscale their managers appropriately and have high accountability systems in place. We have seen significant upward trends for organizations when they do that and when they put those practices in place they are more resilient when times get tough and improve performance.

I want to break down what is employee engagement. Starts with basic elements. The reason I’m focusing on employee engagement here is it’s very difficult for an organization to get well‑being right if they don’t focus on the basics of work first. It’s very difficult to build trust so that people have open eyes to the other resources you’re providing them if you don’t first build trust through the work itself.

Building trust starts with role clarity so people know what their jobs are, only half of people know clearly what’s expected of them at work. There’s a lot of room there.

They need to have the materials and equipment to do their work, have a chance to do what they do best and to be recognized when they do good work and feel cared about and have chances to develop and feel their opinions count. To feel connected to the mission or purpose of the company. To feel connected to their coworkers, have strong social bonds. That’s part of human nature. And to have progress discussions on a regular basis and have chances to learn and grow at work. Those are all basic foundations to getting well‑being right because they’re about the work and they open people’s minds to the bigger picture of what an organization can do for them.

These are generalizable elements that have withstood the test of a lot of years of study through different changes in technology, recessions because they’re based in human needs, we have to get human needs right. The reason they’ve endured, they are human needs in the workplace, but there’s these disrupters over on the right that can change how we address these basic needs.

The basic needs don’t go away, but how we address them and what we prioritize can change. So, you know, with digitization, we have to keep leaning in on develop and helping people develop and learn and grow so they can understand that digitization and use it in the right kinds of ways.

When we think about flexible working and remote working, what’s at risk, we found early on in the pandemic people didn’t clearly know what’s expected of them. There’s distance between employees and employers, you’ll see later people feeling connected to the mission and purpose starts to dwindle when people are more separated physically. We got to lean into that one.

Social time that starts to dwindle, does social time become less important, no it’s as important, we have to be more purposeful and intentional in a remote working environment about social time. In a matrix organization, certainly people feel more connected to their coworkers because there’s more chance to be connected to coworkers because they’re on multiple teams. Clarity of expectations is at risk again in a matrix organization because people have different types of priorities they are addressing.

These are the needs organizations really need to focus in on, relate to a lot of different business outcomes and they’re important to employees, but I’ll show you some of the outcomes these relate to in a second. Let’s take a look at the trends in remote work.

You can see the drastic changes we have had in our work force since the pandemic started. So back before the pandemic in 2019, only 8 percent of people were working exclusive remote. That suddenly jumped up to 70 percent in 2020. And it’s dropped back down as organizations have adjusted, but still 29 percent of employees right now are working fully remote. 52 percent have some type of hybrid arrangement where they are working partially in the office, partially not in the office and these statistics are among jobs that are remote ready, which is a little bit over half of jobs are in remote‑ready situations right now.

20 percent of people are fully onsite. Before the pandemic, 60 percent of remote‑ready jobs were fully on site. So there’s been a drastic shift. Why these changes, well, people learned that the commute wasn’t as necessary as they thought they were. Organizations needed to give people good reasons to come into the office and to build some smart autonomy, autonomy is important to people, but we need to be smart about it. In person time matters too. We’ll talk about that a little bit more as we get into this.

So those remote working patterns are very important. Now what do people prefer out of all this, we know a what they’re doing, preferences and what people expect in the future. We are starting to align, you see the patterns are starting to level off and people are getting into their regularity. But in terms of expectations for the future, a little over half of people expect their work to be hybrid, 59 percent say that’s their preference going forward.

34 percent say they would like to be exclusively remote. That’s 25 percent right now in terms of expectations, so a little bit of a gap there. The biggest gap is that 22 percent expect their future location to be fully onsite, only 6 percent want that. So almost everybody, in fact 90 percent of people want some type of flexibility in their work where they can work at least partially away from the office or the work locations. Again, among remote‑ready employees, that puts a big burden on organizations to get the formula right. If we don’t get it right, we know there’s a lot of risk for organizations. Let’s talk about how we get that right.

I’ll come back to this slide in a second, one of the problems we are seeing is customer engagement or customer satisfaction has dipped, that’s the blue line there, dipped recently, employee engagement has kind of coincided with that in terms of the dip. So what we found is that there’s a growing disconnect between employees and employers, and that’s relating to lower customer satisfaction. That’s one of the outcomes executives are most concerned with in organizations is customer satisfaction and customer loyalty and customer retaining customers. Employee engagement has a strong relationship to customer engagement. So getting engagement right is important from that perspective as well.

So patterns related to that, when we asked employees whether they feel extremely proud of the quality of products and services their organizations offer, we have seen significant declines among young employees up at the top of that chart, both for remote employees, hybrid employees and onsite employees, that’s declined. So people feel less proud of what their organizations offering customers and older employees, 35 plus that are exclusively remote, we have seen significant declines.

So as people have become more remote, there’s been more of a disconnect. Doesn’t mean it has to be that way, doesn’t mean remote work is bad. It can be very good because there’s autonomy associated with it. We have to have great management if we want to get this right going forward.

All this relates to important outcomes, of course customer outcomes, but also other outcomes, like profitability, productivity, well‑being, how much people feel like they’re a citizen of their organization and get involved in wellness programs and other offering that the organization offers. Declines in absenteeism when it is high.

Shrinkage and theft in organizations, safety incidents or accidents on the job are lower when engagement is right.

Quality of work is better, there’s fewer defects if organizations have more highly engaged teams and business units inside their organizations.

So what happens at the manager level inside organizations is extremely important. In fact, the manager explains about 70 percent of the variance in team engagement. So how organizations improve, you’ve saw that 70‑some percent of the top organizations who have high engagement. They got there by focusing on the resources they provide to managers at a local level because culture changes through local managers.

And how administration address those engagement elements. How they clarify expectations, how they give people the right recognition when they need it. How they give people opportunities to do what they do best and give them opportunities to develop. That’s how the distribution, which when we go into an organization for the first time, we see wide variance in the distribution of teams inside organizations, even really well‑known organizations, but they improve engagement by improving the engagement of the ‑‑ of each team, one team at a time through their managers.

Managers are the only ones inside of organizations who are in a position to get to know the situation of each employee and help them have high meaning and high purpose overall.

And so shifting that distribution is extremely important.

How do we get the right managers in place? One is we got to build mechanisms for hiring the right people to begin with. When you ask managers how they got into their roles overall, they are highly likely to say they got into their roles through tenure or by being successful in a previous job that was unrelated to management. So we have to have good selection systems, Gallup has worked on this for a long time, we know these five dimensions are important to being an effective manager. Some people end up despising it because they don’t like all the complications of dealing with so many different people. Other managers look forward to it because they’ve got natural, he degrees of motivation to inspire teams to do exceptional work or they’re really good at setting goals and arranging resources to get teams to excel or really effective at initiating, influencing others to act in pushing through adversity and resistance and building collaborative teams to build deep bonds.

Taking analytical approach to strategy and decision‑making, there’s all kinds of data coming at us nowadays, managers need to be able to navigate those data and present them to employees in the right cadence and in the right format so they can do their jobs better.

So managers are naturally more talented at others at doing the job of managing. Half of the stories picking the right manager to begin with, a longer term trend. But the other half is how we develop them. Develop them by helping them set clear expectations, we can do this through effective upscaling and training.

Help them set clear expectations that are clear and that involve employees in setting their own goals, low hanging fruit in all this. How they continually coach effectively. Again, employees don’t want an annual review, they want to know how they’re doing on a regular basis, on an ongoing basis. Think about how important that is with all the remote work.

How those two things work together or not.

How they build high accountability, so people know how well they’re doing overall.

That’s another important element so if you think about the role of manager being these three things, really, establishing expectations, continually coaching, and creating clear accountability. That’s really important.

We have also found at Gallup, around strengths, all of this becomes more efficient if we know the innate strengths of each person that we manager. If we know our own as a manager, we can become much more efficient and work with the momentum instead of against it or with the wind instead of against the wind.

Strengths fall into four categories, executing, influencing relationship building and strategic thinking.

Think about these as the innate characteristics that are inside of all of us that we have a tool called Cliftons strengths, people on the session today may have already become familiar with this tool. It used to be called strengths finder, but it’s a tool that has a ton of science behind it, and helps people get to know what they naturally do best. It builds efficiency, I call it a short cut to having meaningful conversations with people because we can get to know why people are the way that they are and help them leverage their strengths to become highly successful to set the right goals, to have the right kind of conversations and to build the right kind of accountability with each person. This is a really important element for managers going forward.

When people leverage their strengths effectively we have done studies of people in the moment, ask them how they’re doing in the moment, when people have a chance to do what they do best, they report much higher energy in the moment.

So leveraging strengths, getting people a chance ‑‑ in a situation where they have a chance to do what they do best leads to higher levels of energy which leads to all the different outcomes that we referenced earlier.

Another way to think about this is that the role of managing involves a lot of different elements. We have got to give managers the right kind of tools and make science simple enough for them to apply. One of the problems with management science in the past, it hasn’t been real easy for managers to apply, we have tried to figure out ways managers can know how to engage your employees in a simple way, how do you get to know the strength of your employs on in a way to apply it and take performance management and blend that in so people don’t think of it as a separate thing, it’s part of engagement, part of strengths.

We built some learning modules through the pandemic, tested those modules, and taught employees how to have the right kinds of conversations with employees, including feedback from their own peers.

When we did that, we tested it through 17 studies and about 15,000 study participants. Compared them to others that didn’t go through the protocol and found these managers themselves had higher engagement, and this is half a year to a year and a half later, had higher engagement, higher team engagement, lower turnover rates and higher performance.

So this kind of ‑‑ this kind of a module actually works to help managers become more upscale than in the past. If I were going to simplify what the most important thing for a manager to do going forward is, it’s to have a meaningful conversation once a week with each person. We had a chance to do research about what a meaningful conversation is, and it involves recognition, it involves discussing collaboration in relationships with people, it involves involving people in setting goals and priorities at work. It can be a 15‑minute to 30‑minute conversation if it’s every week,

It’s not every week, got to be longer because there’s catch up that’s required, but it should be an efficient, short conversation, and it should involve strengths so that we make those conversations more meaningful than they would have been otherwise. 16 percent of people we surveyed said their last conversation with their manager was extremely meaningful. Of those people, 80 percent were engaged. It’s very hard to find things in science that work like this where one activity like this impacts people that much and so one habit to develop is to have one meaningful conversation with each person at least once a week. And I won’t go through all of this next slide, I want you to get a perspective, when we study managers, these are all the different demands that managers have. You’ll have a chance to get the PDF. Every one of these demands gets easier if you have at least one meaningful feedback session with each person once a week because you’re in touch with them, you can much more easily convey what’s going on in the organization, adjust their work, develop star employees, and all the other demands that organizations have in front of them.

Unfortunately, managers right now are reporting higher levels of burnout, they’re reporting lower levels of engagement, the trend is going down on engagement, and they’re more likely to be watching or active L ‑‑ watching or seeking a new job, that’s a problem. We can fix that if we teach managers and simplify their jobs and teach them how to have the right conversations with their employees on a regular basis.

And also unfortunately, we have seen a decline in how connected people are with their organizations. Particularly for fully remote workers, there’s been a decline in the percentage of people who say that they feel connected to the mission or purpose of organization. There’s been a significant decline in people feeling connected their organization. We have to fix that by ‑‑ we got to fix that by, one, assessing why in‑person time matters and helping people have smart autonomy about why they show up when they do.

One statistic about 12 percent of people decide where they work based on a discussion with their team. A discussion with your team about when you’re together actually has the highest relationship with employee engagement. We have to assess why in person time pays off and be real clear about that. We have to create a framework that has some flexibility but also helps people know that being in person does matter if we plan it in the right way. We have to explain why.

We have to explain how people should decide where they work and do that with their team and have some standards for an organization so that when people do show up, there is a culture there, so it isn’t random. We have to have the right metrics to track progress overall.

And as I mentioned, we have to upscale managers so they can have the right conversations with people and inspire them when they come to work. If we don’t get these things right, we’ll have a tough time in a highly flexible, highly hybrid environment making this work. We can make it work and build the best workplaces ever, if we get these kinds of things right.

To leave you with inspiration, if we get it right, 70 percent of people can be engaged. So there’s a lot of hope here, you saw all the things engagement relates to. If we get it right, well‑being is going to be right and all these five elements, we have a much better chance of addressing each of the five elements that I mentioned earlier because people that have trust, they have an open mind, they’ll look out for what the organization is providing them to improve their overall lives and have managers that actually are in touch with them and reduce their burnout., increase the levels of thriving they have in their lives and reduce their stress levels and headache them healthier individuals as well.

So, I’m going to stop there and open it up for questions and comments and discussion in the remaining few minutes we have here. Thank you for your time.

You can either put questions in chat. I don’t know if there’s an option to give them verbally or not.

I’ll say a couple of things while we are waiting. If we don’t have questions, that’s fine too, we can stop the presentation earlier and give everybody their time back before their next session, but there really is some low hanging fruit in all this, I want to leave people with that impression. Having a meaningful conversation once a week and all the things laid out that are important for organizations to do going forward, inside of all that, there’s some low hanging fruit that organizations ‑‑ that isn’t really difficult for organizations to act on.

So when it comes to recognition, for instance, only 10 percent of people are even asked how they like to be recognized.

So just getting recognition right, first and foremost is about having a conversation about how people like to be recognized. Collaboration in relationships, very few people discuss collaboration with the team that they work on and how that works best in the organization.

And so that’s really important. Just to have that conversation.

In terms of goals and priorities, very few people feel like they are involved in setting their own goals, that boosts engagement tremendously if people are just involved in goal setting and builds ownership.

Like I said, the conversations could be 15 to 30 minutes, can be very short if there’s a continuity to them.

And in terms of well‑being, we know that about half of people we survey are what we call splitters, they like to split work and life into separate components and the other half are blenders where they like to blend work and life throughout the day, if we don’t know that, we could easily disrespect them. Asking simple questions like that are important for managers. Again, that’s low hanging fruit, not hard to do and we can learn very quickly what works best for each person.

Let’s see if there’s some questions in here.

Does this apply in a similar way for not for profits as ‑‑ yeah, it really does. Any organization that has teams and outcomes they are trying to reach, we see these effects, very similar for nonprofits in addition to for profits.

Even nonprofits are trying to manage a budget and manage toward important missions and outcomes. These same principles hold because they are principles of human nature. We have to get better at leveraging human nature instead of working against it. We have built too many systems that work against human nature with the performance management systems that have been put in place.

I saw some comments, looks likes they have kind of disappeared here.

>> If you can look next to chat there’s Q&A and some people have put questions in there.

Jim Harter: Here we go. Q&A, I need to get rid of this.

I’m having some trouble scrolling up.

What advice would you give for balancing management. Some quick tools for both those are very important, burnout is increasing for managers, and those two things really actually go together, we need to reduce burnout by managers by making manager’s jobs simpler, they have a lot of things on their list, don’t need to be separated, we got to pull together for managers, principles of performance management, employee engagement, learning and development. Those don’t have to be separate things, can be blended together. If we think about self‑management from a strengths standpoint, so if each manager knows their strengths, they can leverage their strengths and not try to be someone they are not. Every manager can improve who they are instead of trying to be someone they’re not by building competencies that align with their natural strengths.

And you’ve got to know yourself first if you’re going to be an effective manager. That blends into an effective people manager, you’ll bring your whole self to work. You’ll be in flow. Listening is a really important component of people management that gets forgotten about as well. To start by just listening to people and what’s going on in their work and their lives and to adjust their work when it’s necessary, but instead of ‑‑ I think a lot of people in management think their main job is delegating, and that at times is really important, but the first job of managers should be listening and having meaningful conversations with people that start with involving them in listening with them, that will reduce burnout and increase performance at the same time.

But I would really focus in and lean in on that one habit of one meaningful conversation a week with each person, make sure that it truly is meaningful. We know that feedback hasn’t been the best thing for people historically, it can be if it’s meaningful and useful, being aware of what people are doing, giving them recognition for good work they are doing, helping them set goals and involving them in setting goals, helping them collaborate effectively, learning about where they collaborate best and how that works within their job responsibilities.

So that’s really important. Trying to get up here to some of these other chats.

There’s a blue box that’s in my way in terms of seeing some of the comments for some reason.

So if somebody else could read them, that would be helpful.

>> Jim, would you like me to read any of your questions here or are you good to go.

Jim Harter: I see one more. If you see others, please let me know. Many not for profits exploit knowingly or unknowingly employee’s passion for the work. How does that factor in. Great point. Many people join nonprofits or health care organizations because they feel connected to the mission or purpose that it’s about. And think about how much stress and burnout is caused when people feel passion for their work, but they come to work and feel confused about what their job responsibilities are where they do good work and don’t get recognized for it. Or they don’t feel like they have a chance to do what they do best or have a chance to develop, that’s why one of the slides I showed earlier ‑‑ I’ll see if I can get back to this real quick, it kind of makes the point that mission and purpose, which is really important, sits pretty high up in the hierarchy. It’s an important basic need right here. You see mission or purpose is right here, there’s foundational elements that organizations need to get right, otherwise people will feel exploited, might join an organization right here where they feel connected to the mission or purpose, but if they don’t feel their opinions count, don’t have chances to develop, don’t feel cared about or recognized, this is why upscaling managers is so important to getting engagement right and getting performance right, then when you get these basics right, when people have what they need to do their work, they are more likely to take that passion and apply it on a regular basis and there’s many employees that do have that, you saw in the U.S., it’s in the 30s for the best‑run organizations, in the 70s, which is a high bar metric.

To get that right means we have to get these basic needs right first. So that’s an excellent question, glad you asked it. And it’s something, unfortunately, that happens too often that can be fixed. All these problems are seen in workplaces very changeable if we get the right ‑‑ if we get the right tools in place and upscale managers in the right way.

If there’s other questions in chat, please read those to me, why I can’t see anymore.

>> One question is what suggestions can you provide for helping younger, Gen-Z workers become more accountable for their own well-being in the workplace.

Jim Harter: Another great question. One thing to realize about Gen-Z, they are looking for a job with a purpose. They’re looking for a job where they can have continuous conversations and have an opportunity to develop inside the organization. So for them, themselves, I think they need to recognize when they do have a good manager, they need recognize how important that is. I recommend they first get to know their strengths and know how their strengths relate to what the job responsibilities are inside the work. If they’re working more remote which we know younger workers are asking for more remote work, they need to make sure they are intentional about connecting with people inside the organization, especially their manager, but I think it’s also important for them to know when they show up and they’re in the office, they get more development. That’s part of human nature also, when we are in person, things happen differently and while it might be ‑‑ we might all be well intended to have all the right kinds of developmental opportunities when we are separated and remote, human nature doesn’t always work that way. So they will have better opportunities if they make it a point to schedule some time in person when their other coworkers are there and when their manager is there, and they’ll have better chances to develop overall. So I think putting the right conditions around yourself, so you have a higher probability of developing and progressing inside your career, it starts with knowing your strengths, but then it also is about knowing ‑‑ you know, initiating if your goals aren’t clear, ask, get involved, in setting your own goals with your manager, and make sure that the people around you ‑‑ make sure you recognize the people around you also. I think recognition happens that way, where it’s not just a manager’s responsibility, it’s a coworker’s responsibility also to build trust and be equitable. Awareness, make sure you’re intentional about setting expectations and having the right kinds of ongoing conversations, and make sure people around you know what you’re doing and what you’re working on, what goals you’re working on and how you’re experiencing those. Make sure that people around you know when there’s barriers that are getting in the way of you doing your work.

So that communication aspect is really important.

Any other questions, we got time for one more, I think.

>> There’s a short question, how many museum organizations are in your survey.

Jim Harter: That’s a really good question, I wish I could answer that offhand, I’m sure there’s some in there. We have got a large database of thousands of organizations, and I can certainly follow up with whoever ask that question or in general after the call, and let you know, can look up the industry information inside of our database, I really appreciate that question.

We have worked with a wide range of industries the way I think about everything I presented to you, fundamentally human nature at work, human nature transcends organizations and transcends industries and cultures, certainly important things we need to take into account in terms of differences in organizations, industries and cultures, there’s a common element of human nature that cut across, we’ve seen that through our research.

Thank you all fur time today, appreciate it, and I’m more than happy to follow up with any additional questions that folks have. Appreciate your time and attention and wish you the very best the rest of the week and have a nice week and the week ahead.

AAM Member-Only Content

AAM Members get exclusive access to premium digital content including:

  • Featured articles from Museum magazine
  • Access to more than 1,500 resource listings from the Resource Center
  • Tools, reports, and templates for equipping your work in museums
Log In

We're Sorry

Your current membership level does not allow you to access this content.

Upgrade Your Membership


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to Field Notes!

Packed with stories and insights for museum people, Field Notes is delivered to your inbox every Monday. Once you've completed the form below, confirm your subscription in the email sent to you.

If you are a current AAM member, please sign-up using the email address associated with your account.

Are you a museum professional?

Are you a current AAM member?

Success! Now check your email to confirm your subscription, and please add to your safe sender list.