4 2021 LONG ISLAND TOP WORKPLACES – LITOPWORKPLACES.COM
TOP LI WORKPLACES LONG ISLAND'S TOP EMPLOYERS
THERE’S NO GOING BACK TO HOW IT “USED TO BE”
BY GARY MARKLE
Energage and Catalytic Coaching
Nostalgia is a trickster. It will tell you
how much better things used to be, all
rainbows and four-leaf clovers. It’ll
say everything will be better when the
world goes back to how it used to be.
Nostalgia is wrong.
There will never be going back. We
physically can’t, unless you have a
secret time machine stashed somewhere.
(If you do, let me know. I have a
Look at everything we’ve navigated and
endured. All those lessons learned and vital
pivots we made. We’ve talked to people
who have been launched out of the career
they thought they were going to have and
companies that had to drag their teams
through a steep learning curve.
It’s easy for many of us to feel like we’ve
barely made it. Every day seems to bring
another layer to the chaos.
Let’s acknowledge what we’ve accomplished
in spite of it. Most importantly,
let’s prepare to keep marching forward!
How do you keep winning forward?
• Don’t settle for “good.” Anything
less than great isn’t going to help your
organization recover. Boom or bust,
it’s been stressful as the markets have
thrashed all over the place. Give your
employees the opportunity to rise to the
• Don’t relax. Your people are tired,
and breaks are hard to come by, especially
with the markets still unstable.
Cascade your strategic plans down
through the whole company to keep
everyone on track and focused.
• Don’t fear the unknown. Covid
taught us that some pivots can’t be forecast.
That’s a lesson we can take to heart
without letting it paralyze anyone’s
efforts. Set focus areas. Develop those
goals. And most important: Execute!
• Do prepare to pivot. Focus areas
and goals may change for some (or all)
individuals throughout the course
of the year. Don’t set it and forget it.
Managers should meet with their team
members at least quarterly to review
progress updates on all goals. Those
dedicated opportunities to connect and
adapt are invaluable.
• Do give yourself quality tools.
My grandpa used to say that half of
doing a good job
was having the
right tools for it.
Without them, things can get…messy.
Time is wasted. Resources are down
the drain. You deserve to have what
you need to make your life easier and
give your workforce the best chances
for success. Remember that tools are
more than gadgets and gizmos we give
the employees to do a job. The mind is
the most valuable of all tools. You have
talented employees right now with a
mind for coaching. Sharpen those tools.
• Do start (or keep) coaching. Your
employees will be more productive, engaged,
and invested through coaching.
Get a system in place that will help you
guide your performance management in
a way that communicates what you need
from them, empowers them to own their
accomplishments, increases overall capabilities,
and tracks all of it throughout the
Gary Markle, chief catalyst of Catalytic
Coaching, Inc. is a speaker, consultant,
author, and a business partner of Energage,
a Philadelphia-based employee
survey firm. Energage is the survey
partner for Top Workplaces.
Here are some tips to keep the workplace moving forward during these trying
times. (Getty Images)
SURVEY DATA SHOW LOYALTY TO EMPLOYERS IS DOWN
BY BOB HELBIG
Employee engagement is dropping amid
a tight labor market. It’s been a problem
since the start of 2021, and it’s an indication
that employees just aren’t that into
their employers right now — at least not
the same way they were 17 months ago.
“What we’re hearing from employees
through this data is that they are rethinking
their commitment to their
employers,” said Greg Barnett, Ph.D.,
chief people scientist of Energage. “We’re
seeing lower levels of loyalty as employees
leave their employer for a new one.”
Survey data collected from employees
by Energage at more than 4,000 companies
show that employee engagement
levels have fallen to a level lower than
anytime during the pandemic.
Data show that employee engagement
sharply increased in April 2020 as
companies scrambled to ensure employees
that they were prioritizing
their health and well-being during
the pandemic with initiatives such
as work-from-home. After this initial
spike, engagement declined but started
inching up at the end of the year, before
falling again in 2021.
“The new year started with a one-point
decline in engagement, and has fallen
ever since,” Barnett said.
The Energage research shows some
industries have rockier relationships
with employees than others, with
education, hospitality, utilities and
telecommunications, services, and manufacturing
showing large decreases in
employee engagement in 2021, off by six
points or more compared to the second
quarter of 2020.
“Employee burnout and stress has
been a significant factor over the last
year, and employees in these industries
have been especially hard hit,” Barnett
said. “In many companies, initial hiring
freezes and layoffs have been hard to
reverse, leading to more work for fewer
employees. In other situations, burnout
is high because remote work has created
situations where employees never feel
like they are off the clock.”
In addition to waning loyalty, many
employees in these same industries note
that they are less willing to recommend
their own companies to others as a good
place to work.
“Employees are at the point where they
can reflect on their company’s response to
Covid-19 and are judging those actions in
hindsight,” said Doug Claffey, founder and
chief strategy officer of Energage. “While
the worst of the pandemic appears to be
behind us, the actions taken by employers
have left some employees questioning not
only their loyalty, but also their career
choice. This is especially true in education
Despite these challenges, Claffey is
quick to point out that focusing on the
past won’t likely be helpful.
“Organizations should resist the urge
to overanalyze declines in employee
engagement and instead focus on improvement
going forward. There are
plenty of challenges and opportunities
ahead that will impact future engagement,
including how to run a hybrid
workforce, keep employees safe, and
balance new work/life flexibility issues,”
Bob Helbig is media partnerships director
at Energage, a Philadelphia-based
employee survey firm. Energage is the
survey partner for Top Workplaces.
Employee engagement levels have fallen to a level lower than anytime during
the pandemic, according to survey data. (Getty Images)