Why workplaces aren’t meaningful now
“Where do you find people, our most important asset, on a balance sheet? Under expenses.” – Paul Herman, HIP Investor
Business has long been focused on producing widgets, growing market share, managing costs, and delivering shareholder value. And, while employees are a very costly factor, both in terms of monetary and management time, the process-driven, measurement-hungry and org chart world of business has been lacking in human respect, empathy and meaning.
As such, businesses have been far more focused on the “what” and “how” of their enterprise and have played scant regard to their “why”.
Lacking a compelling reason for being, it’s not unreasonable that employees might feel ambivalent about their work and their employer.
Also, most businesses haven’t yet figured out how to evoke positive emotions in a credible and meaningful way. They may know how to stage a glitzy “motivation campaign” that cause short-term bumps in performance, but they don’t realize the value in consistently and subtly evoking a set of positive feelings through their attitudes, behavior and actions.
As such, most workplaces feel pointless and emotionally neutral to employees. Hence the litany of employee-related problems and challenges facing today’s business leaders. To thrive in a hyper-competitive, fast-accelerating and harder-to-differentiate-within world, businesses need to rethink how they reach out to employees.
It’s time for businesses to make their workplaces more meaningful.