Where do you start when it comes to changing the culture at your workplace and putting an end to the vicious cycle of poor results, low morale, disengagement and dissatisfaction? This is a question that will eventually have to be addressed by any leader who is up to anything worthwhile. However, if you have ever tried to do just that, you know finding the right answer is much easier said than done.
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.
In this episode of The Transformative Leader Podcast, I’m excited to bring you a discussion with consultant, author, TEDx speaker, and entrepreneur, Moe Carrick. Moe seeks to help people thrive in the companies for which they work and grounds her approach in a unifying and undeniable truth: successful work is dependent on human relationships. Recognizing that most of us spend most of our lives at work, and that consequently, work plays a huge role in the meaning and satisfaction we experience in life, Moe offers a fresh, honest, and direct roadmap for leaders everywhere who seek to make their workplace “fit for human life.” This message, about the absolute indispensability of “soft skills“ and taking care of the human side of work, is relevant to leaders in all organizations, at every level, as well as those in development, HR, OD, coaching, and consulting who advise others about organizational culture, leadership, structures, and teams.
Many of us secretly wish we had more authority or fantasize about how we would handle things if one day we were the boss. Some of us tell ourselves that, if only we were in charge, things would be different, while others have resigned themselves to being victims of circumstances that we believe we have no power to change. .For those of you who are in either place, the good news is that you don’t have to be the boss to start a transformation at your workplace. You may not have ultimate power and authority to make all the decisions, and your progress may be hindered by some of the policies and practices over which you don’t have direct influence, but if you are truly committed to transforming the experience of your workplace, there is a lot you can do to make it happen no matter where you are on the organizational chart. This episode is intended to encourage you to take on leading a culture transformation exactly where you are right now and give you some ideas on how you might make that happen.
The most common response I get from the audience when I speak on the topic of leadership, anywhere in the world, is a sense of relief and hope as if to say “Thank goodness! Somebody understands!” I see it in how engaged people are during my talks and in the comments they share with me afterwards. I believe this is primarily because many people feel they are hindered by their bosses or the complex web of policies and politics at their workplace; the environments in which they work in are not conducive to them truly living up to their potential, being able to make a difference, and being fulfilled in what they do. Want to know how I know that? It’s not only because of all the research that points to the fact that only 30% of people in workplaces are actively engaged. It’s because the second most common reaction I get from the audience is a desperate plea for some way that they can get their boss to change his/her ways. They often ask, “…But what if you get this and your boss doesn’t? What do you do then?”