So what happens during the week that leads only 17% of workers to feel they’re on top of their game by week’s end?
That’s a question being pondered by Xavier Unkovic, global president for Mars Drinks, whose parent company is Mars Inc. The poll of 2,034 American employees was sponsored by Mars Drinks and Ipsos.
“I think the results of the poll surprised me personally,” Unkovic says. “I think many of us make assumptions about what energizes people and makes them productive. It’s the reason we did the poll.”
Mars Inc. is ranked among the top 25 Best Multinational Workplaces by Great Places to Work, but Unkovic says the company isn’t resting on its laurels and knows that it must keep its 75,000 worldwide workers engaged if the company wants to remain competitive and innovative.
At the same time, it believes it has some information to share on how it’s reached that top 25 milestone, and has launched a new campaign called “Rethink the Daily Grind,” which seeks to inspire other leaders and workplaces on how to engage and energize workers.
Taking a page from the popularity of coffee shops as a place to meet and form a community, Mars is suggesting that workplace changes can be as simple as setting up a Monday Happy Hour. By offering hot beverages and snacks as a way to get workers and managers to communicate and collaborate in a comfortable space, it’s much more inviting than a sterile meeting room.
“For me, I think the most important thing for leaders is to build a workplace that intentionally keeps the workers going – something that focuses on keeping them very energized,” Unkovic says.
Companies that are not thriving often have the same ailment: They don’t understand what engages their workers and fail to show appreciation for what they do, he says.
“As a business manager, it’s critical that you understand people are your No. 1 asset. Your people bring your brand to life. We are all competing for talent, and if you don’t do a good job (with employees), they’re going to leave. And the No. 1 reason people leave is because of line managers,” he says.
Unkovic agrees with the Gallup research that shows great workplaces have several things in common, such as:
Workers know what is expected of them.
They have the materials and equipment to do the work right.
In the last week, workers have received recognition or praise for doing good work.
“Here’s something you must understand: Companies that get kudos from employees as great places to work also out outperform other companies. There’s no secret here,” he says. “You inspire people, and they give back.”