The world’s largest workforce isn’t happy with their jobs.Low workforce engagement in China is becoming a serious problem that could impede the country’s rise to economic superpower. It is, in fact, the most serious threat to the country, argues Gallup CEO Jim Clifton in China Daily.
In a recent Gallup report, only six per cent of the workforce in China say that they were engaged at their jobs, and around 26 per cent said they were “flat-out miserable” or “actively disengaged.”
These workers are so unhappy that “they’re busy acting out their unhappiness” instead of contributing to the company’s growth.
China’s societal advancement — or collapse — lies within these elements, as employee engagement boosts productivity, quality, customer engagement, retention, safety, and profitability.
It would be wise for all Chinese executives and managers to consider how they can deliver on these simple yet transformational demands of the workplace. If Chinese leaders were to change their current spectacularly bad nationwide score of 6% engaged workers to 20% engaged workers, the country would be a completely different place — one with a much brighter, more stable future.
Clifton says that one of the biggest reasons why China’s workforce is so actively disengaged right now is because of the lack of management skills. The Chinese culture is still dependent on the traditional “command-and-control approach” and people aren’t promoted into managerial positions “for their ability to engage and develop employees.” Instead, they become someone’s superior because they are able to maintain control of their staff.
Eventually, these employees will “check out” and the energy and passion that’s needed for an organisation to move forward and compete with other influential firms won’t exist.
Employees who agree with the following 12 statements are happy, according to Gallup:
1. I know what’s expected of me at work.
2. I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right.
3. At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.
4. In the last seven days, I received recognition or praise for doing good work.
5. My supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person.
6. There is someone at work who encourages my development.
7. At work, my opinions seem to count.
8. The mission and purpose of my company makes me feel my job is important.
9. My associates are committed to doing quality work.
10. I have a best friend at work.
11. In the last six months, someone at work talked to me about my progress.
12. In the last year, I have had opportunities at work to learn and grow.
When over 90 per cent of a workforce doesn’t agree with these statements, you’ve got a problem.
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