A tale of possibility, progress and the promise of winning
This is the second in a trilogy of articles.
An inescapable conclusion to be drawn from the fact that high levels of disengagement in the global workforce have remained largely unchanged since 2009, is that all the constituents have got used to it.
The dreamers - business owners and executives - have factored this dimension of tolerated reality into their forecasts and reports. The workers have become used to the work environment being miserable, draining, dissatisfying or diversionary. What will move the lethargy and the acceptance, by all, of the status quo?
How about the basic energy in business: to increase revenue, reduce costs, improve profitability?
So let’s see where we are:
In an uncertain and potentially hazardous socio / economic / political environment, the reaction of business is to conserve what it has, and not to make investments into a risky marketplace. Consequently, treasure chests are full, markets are volatile and businesses are moribund.
Most downsizing and restructuring plans are either fully implemented or are well in progress.
In this scenario maybe the only path to profit improvement is towards the impact that full employee engagement will have on financial performance. Ground breaking research in the USA, published in 2015, showed that enterprises whose leaders scored high on characteristics designed to produce high employee engagement, returned 4 to 5 times more on assets employed than those with a low score.
Going from low to high levels of workforce engagement seems to be a powerful generator of profit improvement. It does not require mega-investment and incurs no appreciable risk.
Another powerful motivator for change is the arrival in the workforce of Millennials (b.1982 to 2002).
People in this generation do not view the principles of command and control as imperatives. They have zero tolerance for systems that do not deliver to their values. They look for outlets for their positive energy that will benefit them; and they want to contribute proactively to teams, groups and organisations that share their values, beliefs and purpose.
In any association, including their presence in the workplace, modern and post-modern commercial contributors (previously known as employees) are looking for the “why” before becoming engaged with the “how and the “what”.