©2017 Switch and Shift, LLC
In this episode of his Culture Leadership Charge video series – made exclusively for WorqIQ – Chris Edmonds outlines the “state of our workplace cultures.” The data is undeniable. Our workplaces do not consistently validate, engage, respect, etc. team members.
DecisionWise recently worked with a company that was experiencing an annual attrition rate of nearly 50 percent. With over 10,000 employees, that figure was a scary – and costly – number that caught the attention of more than just the HR department. There were obviously misaligned expectations.
One topic I’ve encountered frequently over the past 18 months when talking about happiness at work is a corporate fear that we’re somehow introducing a focus on something soft; it may be something not work-related that might encourage people to be less productive. As anyone who has ever offered a response like that to me will attest, I disagree in the most fundamental way.
The pursuit of meaning — not happiness — is what makes life worthwhile. Despite Thomas Jefferson including the phrase in the Declaration of Independence, the “pursuit of happiness” is a shortsighted aim. Putting your own well-being before well-doing pulls you in the wrong direction. People who spend life seeking happiness are unlikely to find it. Much like chasing fame or wealth, seeking happiness alone is misguided and often leads to poor decisions.
We needed to measure who experiences the highest levels of purpose today. Why? Measuring employee engagement is nothing new. But survey after survey has missed the elephant in the room: to identify people who are intrinsically motivated to find purpose in their work.
Nearly every successful business leader, inventor, military leader, startup founder has a mentor – present tense. No matter how successful you are, you can still benefit from the guidance of a mentor. Bill Gates, who revolutionized the personal computer and is still the richest man in the world, recently celebrated 25 years of friendship with his friend and mentor, Warren Buffett.
When it comes to designing HR policies and processes for your organization, it’s generally good to start with one assumption: The typical path is almost always the worst path.
Without a manager dictating what people must do, working cooperatively requires colleagues to follow through on their promises. What is not obvious is how to create organizational trust. I spent eight years measuring brain activity while people worked in order to identify the building-blocks of trust, how to measure them, and to determine why people were so much more productive in high-trust cultures.
Ironically, when a team lacks energy or results are lagging, most managers trust less, not more. After all, there’s a lot at stake. And yet, time and time again, we see the teams with the biggest turnarounds have one thing in common – their leader believes in the team’s ability to accomplish the extraordinary and places real team trust in the people to make it happen.
Today’s business environment is full of immediacy, where small influences such as a single tweet can send stock prices soaring or sliding. Leaders are called on to retain calm in the face of pressure, stay focused in our distraction-filled realities and remain open-minded to generate greater insights to challenging situations. Our work with leaders and organizations around the world points to mindful leadership as the key to surviving and thriving.