I like getting Gallup data as they are experts on survey data. They produced some insightful data on the workplace. The key data I saw here was that only half of workers know what to do. Fully 50% of leaders not clear enough, so their workers are guessing.
Leaders Not Clear Enough and Employees Lost
That is not surprising. We all should know that vision leaks, and no one really catches anything until they have heard it 3 times. Proper hires need to tell their subordinate managers what they want them to do and how to succeed. They need to hold them accountable. We should not hire leaders who expect their subordinate managers to know and somehow guess what they are thinking. This is a rather common problem actually. It represents two very different roads to travel.
On the guessing road, it is no wonder workers are perplexed. Every day you are trying to get lucky in guessing what your leader wants. You will also be guessing if he likes your work and guessing if your work is valuable. It is very common culturally for parents in China to want their children to be able to guess what they want. This leads to leaders that do the same. We even had a Western leader tell us recently that he would only hire managers that could dance with him in conversation. Can you imagine working for him?
So, workers do not know what their leaders wants means that a host of problems exist around them that make work unproductive for owners. Good leaders who tell workers what to do clear enough can be found, but an amazing number of companies hire people who do not lead well at all. Leaders may hire people who guess what they want to hear. Then they wonder why productivity does not increase.
I guess you get what you pay for. It takes a lot of effort and understanding, but getting people who really lead and whose workers can know that they want is doable. Very few are getting that done, so you can imagine how they are doing on harder issues.
And One Other Ditch
Finally, I want to explain a ditch to avoid. Telling workers what to do can lead to disempowering which also will not help you. Finding the leaders who can find that place is a key to success.