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The Sideline Blog

Just as sports players come to the sideline for rest and guidance, this blog is meant to provide you some insight and guidance as you explore your Strengths journey.

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  • Writer's pictureChad T. Ahern

Full Employment?

Vermont's unemployment numbers indicate that the state's workforce is at full employment.

But are we really?

Data from Gallup's 2017 State of the American Workplace report notes that a little more than 33% of Vermont workers are actively engaged in their work. These are people who not only show up to work but who are also expending discretionary effort to improve their organizations and companies.

This means that more than 66% of Vermont workers are disengaged (~53%, zombie-walking through their days and weeks) OR actively disengaged (~14%, people working to subvert the efforts of actively engaged workers. With so many Vermonters not fully engaged in their work, are we really experiencing the best of everyone having a job?

To improve employee engagement, Gallup notes that it is key for employees to positively answer the question, "Do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day?" To help employees answer this question, they and their managers & leaders need to understand what each person does well. This is where Strengths-based coaching can play a role.

As a Strengths Coach, I work with individuals and teams to help identify their innate, talents -- naturally recurring patterns in the way we each think, feel, and act. In working with individuals there is also significant time spent identifying what current skills and knowledge are already being used in conjunction with one's talents, and what skills and/or knowledge should be learned to take best advantage of one's talents. Similar activities are undertaken at the team level to identify where productive partnerships could or should be established to make best use of everyone's time.

It's a good thing when I can help one team accomplish this level of engagement because it means they are much more likely to enjoy a truer state of "full employment."

What would happen if every individual, team, and organization here in Vermont enjoyed this level of engagement and partnership?

Would that not mean "full employment" for Vermont?

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