Arguably one of the biggest challenges for leaders is managing so-called ‘workplace coasters’. Almost one in three UK employees are self-confessed coasters, according to new research by Barnett Waddingham. 3,000 interviews were carried out and it was revealed that ‘coasters’ are divided into two categories – those who make a conscious choice to coast and those for whom something is not working for them with their employer or job. Only 36% of these coasters said they were happy at work and a lot of the unhappiness was put down to lacking a sense of purpose. Just 47% of ‘coasters’ think their jobs add value and meaning to their lives whilst amongst their colleagues who are excelling the figure rises to 89%. The ILM cites a lack of autonomy caused by the requirement to be compliant making employees decide to ‘coast’. Another important factor is the uncertainty in the jobs market, horizons are narrowing because of this, workers are aware there are rarely jobs for life in our changing world.
Leaders could counter the coasting culture by ensuring that employees can see others doing well to encourage ambition in all colleagues, setting a minimum standard but no maximum and ensuring clear visibility of the common goal.
For more on this go to the Institute of Leadership and Management.