Make American Companies Great Again

Donald Trump wants to “Make America Great Again” but it’s not clear how he intends to do that. We think the starting point is to “Make American Companies Great Again.” 

There are record levels of distrust in many institutions, including the media, government and business.  But the workplace is where Americans spend most of their waking hours and it’s still the most powerful engine for growth and change we have.  If America’s businesses are not great, the country will not be either.

And, America’s businesses are NOT in great shape.

According to Gallup’s most recent State of the American Workplace survey, nearly 70% of employees in US companies describe themselves as either “disengaged” or “actively disengaged.” 

In the best-case scenario, Gallup characterizes these employees as “emotionally disconnected from their workplaces and less likely to be productive.”  In the worst case, they are more likely to “steal from their companies, negatively influence their coworkers, miss workdays, and drive customers away.”

One of the fundamental ways to make your company great again – and get their employees engaged ­– is by helping your people understand the greater purpose (beyond profits and paychecks) behind the work they do.  Countless studies, including this one by Deloitte, demonstrate that the #1 way to drive engagement is to make work meaningful.

We believe this starts with making sure everyone in the workforce knows the organization’s purpose and how to convey it in a simple message and story framework.  This way, your workforce connects with it, remembers it, and shares it.

If you are a CEO, go roam the floor and casually ask five employees how they would characterize the company’s purpose.  See what they say.  If they can’t tell you easily and with conviction, or they all have a different answer, then you’re not getting optimal engagement, passion or productivity from your staff.