February 04, 2021

21 Highlights from “Back to Human”

Sam Caucci

“Amazing, another Zoom meeting! I’m feeling socially fulfilled and more connected to my coworkers than ever!” – Absolutely no one. There are more than seven billion people in the world, yet not a single person has ever uttered those words. For the first time in human history, we are living through an era of electronic and virtual communication that is undoubtedly useful and vital, but also contributes to a stronger sense of isolation at work than ever before. In the book Back to Human: How Great Leaders Create Connection in the Age of Isolation, New York Times bestselling author Dan Schawbel explains how a more socially connected workforce creates greater fulfillment, productivity, and engagement while preventing burnout and turnover. So how do we actually go about creating a socially connected workforce in a time when most workplaces are planning to stay permanently remote or adopt a hybrid working model for the foreseeable future? How do we create deep human connections when being physically together isn’t a possibility for most workers around the world? Back to Human gives us an answer to those pressing questions. Schawbel argues that the corporate cultures we are experiencing right now need to change. He proposes new solutions to the problems facing our workforce today, like throwing out the mythical Work-Life Balance model in favor of a Work-Life Integration model that creates better synergy between all areas of your life and puts you in control of how you allocate your time. The book is based on Schawbel’s exclusive research studies that feature the perspectives of over 2,000 managers and employees of all ages from the US, UK, China, India, Brazil and other countries. I first read this book when it was released in 2018, and it was impactful then. But now, at a time when workplace leaders in every industry have had to adapt and pivot their entire organizational structure at unprecedented speeds, this book has proved to be more useful and insightful than ever. So if you’re ready to create a more connected workforce, then check out my top 20 highlights from Back to Human:
My top three highlights: 
    1. More than 75% of full-time workers are either actively looking for a job or are open to new opportunities.
    2. Technology has created an illusion that today’s workers are highly connected to one another, when in reality most feel increasingly isolated from their colleagues.
    3. About half of Americans are so addicted to their devices that they’d rather break a bone than break their phone.
All of my highlights:
    • How important is culture? Researchers at the University of Southern California studied 759 firms in 17 countries and found that the biggest driver of innovation wasn’t salary or government policies; It was a strong corporate culture supported by the people who work there.
    • The average American spends five hours on their electronic devices and touches their phone over2,600 times a day. For comparison, people spent an average of 18 minutes per day on their computers and other electronic devices before smartphones existed.
    • There are three keys to improving the employee experience:
        • Invest in training and development.
        • Improve employees’ workspaces.
        • Give employees more recognition and positive feedback.
    • Loneliness and weak social connections are associated with a reduction in lifespan similar to that caused by smoking 15 cigarettes a day and even greater than that associated with obesity.
    • Gallup interviewed more than five million people and found that just 30% have a best friend at work; Those who do are seven times more likely to be engaged in their jobs.
    • 7% of workers have no friends at work.
    • 39% of our participants said that they “sometimes, very often or always” feel lonely at work.
    • The “half life” of skills is now only 5 years. In other words, the skills you have today – and that your employer values – may be close to worthless by the time you get to your next job.
    • When we asked managers and human resources executives how they preserve and strengthen their workplace culture, over two-thirds said “through training and development programs.”
    • We are spending almost 33% of our personal and professional time on Facebook. In addition to Facebook, we spend about 6.3 hours a day checking our email and we send more than 30 text messages a day.
    • Half of today’s work activities can be automated by 2055, which would save companies $15 trillion in wages.
    • In the absence of feedback, it’s sometimes hard to know whether our work matters.
    • A successful onboarding program can increase retention by 25% and improve performance by more than 10%.
    • Only 4% of workers who feel engaged on the job would leave their current employer within a year. But 33% of those who feel disengaged are ready to go.
    • The average CEO makes 271 times more than their median employee does, and that staggering wage gap is continuing to grow.
    • Deloitte found that only 22% of companies were excellent at building a differentiated employee experience.
    • Geoff Colvin told me, “We’re hardwired by 100,000 years of evolution to value deep interaction with other humans and not with computers.”
    • The 21st highlight is…
Want to know my 21st highlight from Back to Human? Well at 1Huddle, you have to earn it. If you can answer this question from our game It’s the Manager  then I’ll reveal my final highlight from Back to Human… Here’s the question: The single, most profound finding in 80 years is that ______ of the variance in team engagement is determined solely by the manager.
    1. 80%
    2. 50%
    3. 60%
    4. 70%
Think you know the answer? The first 10 people to email the correct answer to dana@1huddle.co will unlock my 21st highlight and get a special early access code to play the Back to Human game, which has just been added to the 1Huddle Game Shop. Email Dana now for your chance to win!

Sam Caucci, Founder & CEO at 1Huddle

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