There is overwhelming data that consistently shows 80% of employees are not engaged in their work, and their lack of satisfaction and enthusiasm about the work they do impacts not only their productivity, but just as importantly, their health and well-being and the quality of their relationships. Sadly, I know from my experience over the decades, having worked with thousands of people across four continents, most have accepted this monumental epidemic as the “way it’s always going to be.” They have come to believe that work is not supposed to be fun and it is normal to be stressed out and unmotivated. This is why Fridays are so celebrated while Mondays are loathed. As a society, we have simply accepted that work will always be a burden and there is nothing any of us can do to change that.
Have you been feeling the pressure of trying to do more with less? I know I have, many times in my career and I have witnessed many organizations struggle with the same challenge as they felt they didn’t have enough skilled or talented people to accomplish the work that had been deployed to them. While we continue to develop more sophisticated ways to hire and train people and provide them with better systems and work processes to reduce waste and increase productivity, statistics consistently show that only 30% of people are actually engaged in the work. In most workplaces, of the small group of people who are engaged, only a handful are entrusted with the truly important tasks. there are a few “go to” people who are extremely busy, even to the point of being overworked, and then there are the rest who, despite—or because of—the lack of responsibility entrusted to them, often report being dissatisfied at work. As long as this is the case, we will continue to get, at best, 30 cents on every dollar we spend on hiring more people and installing systems whereas cracking the code on employee engagement would yield an infinitely more attractive return. The good news is that there is something each of us can do immediately to make an immediate and meaningful impact on engaging the other 70%.