Leaders Are Out of Touch With Employees and Need a Wake-Up Call

Updated: Apr 15

Employees have been telling me for years their leaders just don’t get it. They’re so removed from the day-to-day operations, and what employees experience, that they really don’t get what employees need to not only thrive, but to survive. The pandemic, and the shift to remote work, has put a spotlight on this, but it seems leaders are still out of touch.

Microsoft recently undertook a wide-scale survey of more than 30,000 employees around the globe. What they found is that leaders are “out of touch with employees and need a wake-up call”.

According to survey findings, 61% of leaders say they’re thriving right now. They report stronger relationships with colleagues, earn higher incomes, and take all, or more, of their vacation days. Contrast this with what their workers report. The data is clear—workers are struggling. Thirty-seven percent say their companies are demanding too much from them.

No doubt the reason for leadership’s happiness is the high productivity they’re enjoying from their workforce. But this comes at a cost:

  • 20% say their employer doesn’t care about them

  • 54% feel overworked

  • 39% feel exhausted

Workers are feeling the pressure and are struggling to keep up.

In the top two needs expressed by workers is the desire for an employer who cares about their well-being. The survey points out that workers are overloaded and need some care and concern for their welfare from their employer.

Digital overload is real, and it’s getting way worse.

When Microsoft compared trends in Microsoft 365 over the last year, this is what they found:

  • Time spent in Microsoft Teams meetings has more than doubled (2.5X) globally and, aside from a holiday dip in December, contin