During the darkest days of the pandemic, communities aggressively worked to thank front-line workers. Before it even started, Kylene Zenk from UKG (Ultimate Kronos Group) was already telling us we needed to be more thankful. She knew what was coming and knew the stress these workers would endure to make sure we got the healthcare we desperately needed, the food we expected, and the toilet paper that became a key area of hoarding during the pandemic.
John Frehse (Senior Managing Director, Labor Strategy) and David Gilbertson (Vice President, Ultimate Kronos Group) took time out to speak with Kylene, as well as Dr. Chris Mullen (Executive Director, The Workforce Institute) to debate the key points.
- The pandemic is not over yet and many have already forgotten the manufacturing employees that kept food on the shelves (as well as toilet paper) during the toughest months of the global pandemic.
- Leaders overwhelmingly fail to say “Thank You” to their employees in all industries at all levels.
- 67% of hourly employees tell Ankura that the management team does not communicate well.
- Companies do not need a 20-step plan or complicated procedures and processes to fix this problem with employees. They need to prioritize the workforce over other leadership meetings that often remove them from the people so vital to their own success.
- Walking the walk means canceling corporate meetings to spend time with the frontline workforce.
This process of improving face time with employees is the single most critical thing leaders can do. When they communicate, they should be listening more than they are talking. Employees who rated their leaders highly on communication all had one thing in common – leaders who ask questions and listen more than they talk and tell.