“The workplace is being reshaped and redefined by the modern workforce and an evolving mindset that prioritizes life before job, coach before boss, strengths before weaknesses….” Gallup 2017 State of the American Workplace.
Engagement, plainly put, is good for business. Focusing on an employee’s strengths instead of weaknesses, helping them to succeed, and contributing to their overall growth and development are things that positive leaders do in order to keep employees highly engaged (i.e. to make them stick around.)
Gallup defines highly engaged as having their basic, individual, collaborative and personal growth needs met by their jobs. According to Gallup’s 2017 State of the American Workplace, 33 percent of employees in the U.S. (dismal when compared to 70 percent of global organizations) reported being “highly engaged” at work. Workers that are highly engaged are more likely to stay in their jobs, perform better and earn more for the company. Companies with workers who are highly engaged earn 147 percent more per share than companies whose workers report low levels of engagement.
Diversity is profitable, but it can be uncomfortable and may lead to conflict. Positive leaders help employees from various backgrounds navigate conflict and learn how to work with different communication styles to get to the good stuff: innovation.
An article in The Scientific American argues that diversity makes us smarter. It states that groups of people of different races, genders, ethnicities, abilities and sexual orientations are more innovative than homogeneous groups. In addition to the obvious conclusion–that diverse viewpoints enrich collaboration–, the researchers discovered something unique. The author writes, “Simply interacting with individuals who are different forces group members to prepare better, to anticipate alternative viewpoints and to expect that reaching consensus will take effort.” Citing several reputable studies, the article concludes that diverse companies are even more profitable than those who employ similar types of people.