Where Great People Fail

Structure trumps talent. Badly designed organizations sabotage the best performers. 4 structural saboteurs: Overlapping domains: Managers with overlapping territories are paid to compete with one another. The stronger the talent, the more intense the in-fighting. Conflicts of interests: Managers can’t both innovate and keep things running smoothly. You can’t go in two directions at the […]

via How to Build Environments Where Teams Thrive and Talent Wins — Leadership Freak


37 Workplaces That Stand Out From The Rest

What separates great workplace cultures from the rest? Gallup has studied millions of employees around the world to answer this very question.

We’ve found that regardless of company size, location, culture or industry, the very best organizations all share one undeniable trait: They have an intense and intentional focus on engaging their employees.

That focus means more than administering a survey once or twice a year. While measurement is important and necessary, great workplaces know that engaging employees requires real strategy and commitment. They don’t simply promise a culture of engagement; they deliver on it.

Great workplaces have leaders who make engagement a priority — as a competitive point of differentiation — and who communicate openly and consistently. They hold their managers accountable — not just for their team’s measured engagement level, but also for how it relates to their team’s overall performance. They have well-defined and comprehensive development programs for leaders and managers, and they emphasize the development of individuals and teams.

Great workplace cultures treat employees as stakeholders of their future. They put their attention on concrete performance management activities, such as clarifying work expectations, getting people what they need to do their work, providing development opportunities and promoting positive coworker relationships. As a result, their employees create more and better work, stay with their organization longer and win the best customers for the future.

Recognizing and Celebrating the Best

Creating and sustaining a great workplace is no easy feat. Gallup research shows that worldwide, just 16% of employees are engaged in their jobs — they are highly involved in and enthusiastic about their work and are psychological “owners” who drive performance and innovation to move the organization forward. A staggering 84% of employees are either not engaged and detached from their organization or — even worse — are actively disengaged, potentially feeling resentful and acting out their unhappiness.

Organizations that set themselves apart deserve to be recognized and celebrated. Gallup is pleased to honor 37 leading organizations as the recipients of our annual Gallup Great Workplace Award. These organizations average 14 engaged employees for every one actively disengaged employee, which is nearly seven times the rate in the U.S. and more than 15 times the rate for workforces globally.

The Gallup Great Workplace Award, now in its 11th year, recognizes organizations that achieve performance excellence through cultures of engagement. Gallup has continued to create high-standard criteria to apply for the award, ensuring that winning organizations represent some of the world’s best workplaces. To be considered for the award, organizations must meet the following minimum criteria:

  • administer an employee engagement survey to at least 50 respondents representing a census of the organization
  • receive a high, qualifying response rate
  • receive a qualifying score on Gallup’s Q12 employee engagement survey

Organizations that meet the minimum criteria are then invited to apply for the award by submitting detailed evidence of their commitment to and advancement of employee-centric performance excellence. A panel of Gallup judges reviews and scores all submissions.

Leaders of the winning organizations understand that engaging employees drives real business outcomes, and they have mastered strategies and tactics to create cultures of engagement. Each award recipient has integrated engagement in four key areas: strategy and leadership, accountability and performance, communication and knowledge management, and development and ongoing learning.

This Year’s Winners

Our award winners represent a wide range of industries and countries and set a high standard for what the world’s employees can achieve. It is our pleasure to share the 2017 list of Gallup Great Workplace Award winners:

  • ABC Supply Co., Inc.
  • Adventist Health System
  • Alliant Credit Union
  • Assurity Life Insurance Company
  • Bajaj Auto Finance
  • Bon Secours Health System
  • City of Centennial
  • Compassion International
  • DTE Energy
  • Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company – du
  • Fifth Third Bank
  • Greater St. Albert Catholic Schools
  • Hawai’i Pacific Health
  • Health Catalyst
  • Hendrick Health System
  • Hyatt Corporation
  • Indus Towers Limited
  • Iowa Donor Network
  • KinderCare Education
  • Kootenai Health
  • Mars Inc.
  • Mary Lanning Healthcare
  • Mashreq
  • Nationwide Insurance
  • NFU Mutual
  • Northwest Farm Credit Services
  • PNC Bank
  • PT. Bank Central Asia, Tbk.
  • Unity Health Insurance Corporation
  • Regions Bank
  • Self Regional Healthcare
  • Stryker Corporation
  • Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces
  • Tech Mahindra Business Services Ltd.
  • USAA
  • Winegardner & Hammons Hotel Group
  • WSFS Bank

The Vault is Open


Few topics have been written about as much as SUCCESS. Even among the most seriously discussed subjects like religion and politics, the concept of success plays a critical role. Something just as interesting is that success means different things to each of us. This reflects the individuality that we enjoy. In a commercial context, success is most often measured using the currency of exchange as well as the achievement of goals. Philosophically, success may even be the attainment of a mental state of satisfaction as a result of your actions or thoughts. Whichever way you look at it, success is a topic of interest to everyone.

Over the last 7 months, I have been working on a book with some of the leading professionals from all around the world—including the legendary Brian Tracy!  In the process of writing this book, we all agreed to reveal our top business secrets that consistently allow us to improve our health, wealth and SUCCESS—even in the New Economy.  It was tough to get some to agree, but the only way we were going to do this, was if everyone was held to the same code, share the best secrets you’ve got.

The great news is that we got everyone to agree, and the book that we all wrote together, Cracking the Code to Success is coming out Tomorow!  The Celebrity Experts® in this book allow you see their formulas for success, and through their experiences, offer many valuable lessons (including pitfalls to avoid) that are particularly meaningful. Just as action is an integral part of success, mentoring means a faster rate of achievement. However, despite our changing world, we know that the basic tenets of success remain the same, no matter how fast the pace. The Celebrity Experts® in are willing to mentor you. They have lived what it is all about. . .

 We’ll be launching the book this tomorrow April 13th,  (don’t worry I’ll remind you!), and I’ve put together a huge bonus package for you if you’ll help us launch the book on Thursday!

I appreciate your support and I’ll get back with you to remind you about the launch and to tell you more about the bonuses I’m putting together!

Stay tuned!


The Right Culture: Not About Employee Happiness

by Jim Harter and Annamarie Mann


  • Measuring workers’ contentment doesn’t improve business outcomes
  • Approaching engagement as a business strategy yields better results
  • Highly engaged organizations share common philosophies and practices

Creating a great workplace culture that has star employees who know how to win new customers isn’t about making employees happy or content — and organizations falter when they think it is.

It’s true that enthusiastic and energetic employees feel better about their work and workplace. But engagement is not determined by an abstract feeling. Measuring workers’ contentment or happiness levels, as well as catering to their wants, often fails to achieve the underlying goal of employee engagement: improved business outcomes.

Organizations have more success with engagement and improve business performance when they treat employees as stakeholders of their own future and the company’s future. This means focusing on concrete performance management activities, such as clarifying work expectations, getting people what they need to do their work, providing development and promoting positive coworker relationships.

The majority of the U.S. workforce (51%) is not engaged, according to Gallup’s State of the American Workplace report. These employees are indifferent and neither like nor dislike their job. They represent a risk, and that risk can tilt either way — good or bad.

Many employees who are not engaged want a reason to be inspired. They are the “show me” group that needs an extra push to perform at their best. While positive feelings, such as happiness, are usually byproducts of engagement, they shouldn’t be confused with the primary outcomes. Rather, the primary emphasis should be on elements that engage workers and drive results, such as clarity of expectations, the opportunity to do what they do best, development and opinions counting.

A Business Strategy

Approaching engagement as a business strategy yields clear and better results. Last year, Gallup conducted the ninth version of our meta-analysis (a study of studies) to determine the relationship of engagement — as measured by Gallup’s employee engagement survey — to business-/work-unit profitability, productivity, employee retention and customer perception.

Despite massive changes in the economy and technology, the results of the most recent meta-analysis are consistent with the results of each previous version. Simply put, engaged employees produce better business outcomes than other employees do — across industries, company sizes and nationalities, and in good economic times and bad.

Business or work units that score in the top quartile of their organization in employee engagement have nearly double the odds of success (based on a composite of financial, customer, retention, safety, quality, shrinkage and absenteeism metrics) when compared with those in the bottom quartile. Those at the 99th percentile have four times the success rate of those at the first percentile.

When compared with business units in the bottom quartile of engagement, those in the top quartile realize improvements in the following areas, among others:

Showing up and staying: Engaged employees make it a point to show up to work and do more work — highly engaged business units realize a 41% reduction in absenteeism and a 17% increase in productivity. Engaged workers also are more likely to stay with their employers. In high-turnover organizations, highly engaged business units achieve 24% less turnover. In low-turnover organizations, the gains are even more dramatic: Highly engaged business units achieve 59% less turnover. High-turnover organizations are those with more than 40% annualized turnover, and low-turnover organizations are those with 40% or lower annualized turnover.

Customer outcomes: Employees who are engaged consistently show up to work and have a greater commitment to quality and safety. Understandably, these employees also help their organizations improve customer relationships and obtain impressive organic growth. Highly engaged business units achieve a 10% increase in customer ratings and a 20% increase in sales.

Profit: The previous outcomes collide to bring organizations increased profitability. Engaged employees are more present and productive; they are more attuned to the needs of customers; and they are more observant of processes, standards and systems. When taken together, the behaviors of highly engaged business units result in 21% greater profitability.

Creating the Right Culture Is Possible

Employee engagement has long been a concern in the U.S. workforce, but — perhaps now more than ever — it represents a vital component of employee attraction and retention. For the modern workforce, an engaging work environment is a fundamental expectation, a baseline requirement. Many employees refuse to settle for an organization that does not strategically prioritize engagement. For leaders, this means a culture of engagement is no longer an option — it is an urgent need.

Creating a culture of engagement requires more than completing an annual employee survey and then leaving managers on their own, hoping they will learn something from the survey results that will change the way they manage. It requires an organization to take a close look at how critical engagement elements align with their performance development and human capital strategies.

Engaging employees takes work and commitment, but it is not impossible. One-third of the overall U.S. workforce is engaged. And many organizations come to Gallup with even lower percentages of engaged employees — the median engagement level among our first-year clients is 30%.

But as they shift their approach, these organizations begin to realize improvements in performance. The engagement level among recent Gallup clients is 44%, and it is even higher among clients with the highest levels of engagement — the winners of the Gallup Great Workplace Award. In these organizations, an average of 70% of employees are engaged, and there are 14 engaged employees for every actively disengaged employee — a ratio that is seven times the national average.

Highly engaged organizations share common philosophies and practices. Among other things:

  • They know creating a culture of engagement starts at the top.
  • Their leaders are aligned in prioritizing engagement as a competitive, strategic point of differentiation.
  • They communicate openly and consistently.
  • They place the utmost importance on using the right metrics and on hiring and developing great managers.

Highly engaged organizations also hold their managers accountable — not just for their team’s measured engagement level, but also for how it relates to their team’s overall performance. They ensure that managers are engaging employees from the first minute of their first day at work.

These organizations have well-defined and comprehensive development programs for leaders and managers, and they focus on the development of individuals and teams. Employee engagement is a fundamental consideration in their people strategy, not an annual “check-the-box” activity.

This article is part of Gallup’s State of the Workplace Initiative.