Career advice, insights & tips for HR professionals
Root causes of disharmony in the workplace 08/02/2010
People who are engaged perform 20% better and are 87% less likely to leave (corporate leadership council). Could it also be that people who are not engaged in their job or, to the company, is because they are not first engaged within themselves?
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- Are your staff on auto-pilot?
- A question of self-choice
- The choice to ‘put-in’ = output
- Leadership is the way forward – towards harmony
Are your staff on auto-pilot?
If the way in which someone is living is being affected adversely so, then maybe the way in which they perform or carry out their job is affected in the same way which companies witness and experience through - rising absenteeism, sickness, lateness, reduced morale and motivation, boredom, low engagement, low productivity and performance etc.
This continued way of ‘auto-pilot’ living - going to work, just doing the job and living for the end of the day or for the weekends or just the pay-slip can make us ask ‘why? and what’s it all for/about?’ Many of us are quick to assert blame on the job itself, the role, the manager, the colleague, the bully, the system, the company, the economic climate etc and so if for example we are presented or offered a new job it can seem a far more appealing option than our current position. It offers a way out. But does it really and honestly?
When the person does leave their job, very often that same issue or dis-‘ease’ (often disguised through layers), appears to follow them around to the 3rd or even 4th job or role. It becomes a continuing pattern. Some may hopefully see or realise that maybe ‘the issue’ is themselves, but more precisely -
The way in which they are within themselves, within the actual job...
- is what needs to be looked at with real honesty.
A question of self-choice
If the person sees how they ‘are’ as being the real issue, they can assess that all the choices they have made, whether they like it or not, is the reason or key in understanding where they currently are – the disinterest or boredom in the job, sleepless nights leading to recurring tiredness upon waking and during the day, feeling stressed out, in constant ‘fire-fighting’ with people, ‘time short’, feeling totally drained and sluggish. Most of us reach for another cup of coffee or fizzy drink, chocolate bar, extra cigarette, or after work drink, gym workout etc to fix things and to get going again.
But is this really working? Does it just make us crave ‘for more’ - of what is making us tired in the first place and thus keeps us on the treadmill?
What exactly are we putting-in? What is our own 'input'? – the foods we eat and drink, our sleep, leisure activities, relationships, friendships, family and societal pressures with the notorious ‘checklist’ of values, ideals re: how we ‘ought to be living’ - all of which have an effect on, and will determine the very next choice to put-in, and ensure the treadmill which is wearing us down, exists.
Inefficiency in the job can be related to how efficient (or not) a life is actually being lived
- The key for a company whose focus is on less drain, more productivity, greater retention, increased employee engagement etc - is to put in place strategies which work towards creating an alignment of their staff that encourages them to work towards a self-harmonious way of being and thus working.
- The inspiration of which must come from the leader/manager’s commitment towards being in self-harmony to create a ripple-effect throughout the organisation.
The choice to ‘put-in’ = output
The person who reflects on choices determining 'input' that then becomes the 'output' can thus determine in every moment what their performance will be, how they conduct, do business and interact with colleagues, how engaged they are in their daily job and how fulfilled they feel. The 'output' simply creates the 'input' and the cycle is repeated.
So the real issue is not just to do with high or low levels of motivation, retention, employee engagement, conflict, stress etc within an organisation, but instead the need to go further to understand the root cause of what is creating the unrest (inefficiency) ie the disharmony in the first place.
All of the above is the outcome of the initial imbalance which occurs as a result of a person’s choices. In dealing with the imbalance, there is thus the need to accept responsibility for what has been chosen as opposed to believing that ‘there was no choice’ and that ‘it just happened to them’ - the awful job, the difficult-to-manage boss or team, the bullying, the deadlines constantly keeping them at work late, the job sector demands such as after work networking and drinking etc.
It is through this disempowerment and non-acceptance of one’s choices leading to a disconnection within self, that the person can be easily open to and dictated by, other and more attractive ‘bigger’ and ‘better’ things - the lucrative job offer, the big promotion, the nicer boss or team etc. So in reaction they choose to leave their current job for greener pastures new, but invariably after some time, the pattern or ‘issue’ from which they wanted to escape, occurs yet again and often in a more pronounced way than previous. Hence it is the new company that is left picking up the pieces of a further dis-engaged (dis-harmonious) employee who is (inefficiently) producing.
So the real issue here is about harmony and that it = efficiency. The above example shows that when the person does not choose to put-in efficiently, (towards self-harmony) they do not receive efficiency (harmony) and what manifests for both the person and company is an imbalance.
Leadership is the way forward – towards harmony
In today’s economic climate an organisation’s top focus and emphasis is on effective leadership and management. Thus the toolkit and style of a particular leader tasked with this responsibility through the recession, is vital and key to engagement and productivity. Staff are directly affected by how the boss ‘is’ in him/herself.
So hence harmony must be a vital ingredient in the toolkit. Leaders and managers who are consistent and balanced within themselves we know make clearer business decisions, set quality standards, inspire and develop their staff all of which is essential if businesses want to operate and run with efficiency and lift productivity.
True efficiency and true productivity lies in harmonious leadership and management.
So the key for organisations, their leaders and their staff is to work towards this more harmonious way of well-being before it becomes an issue for them, and also during times of imbalance.
In encouraging this way of first self-responsibility towards self-harmony ie ‘harmonious leadership’, it can serve both as a preventative measure and also be a useful retention tool, in helping address the real issue concerning the levels of employee engagement and efficiency.
The choice is ours.
Zofia Sharman, Amoreh Consulting
Zofia brings extensive recruitment and career industry experience gained across the media, advertising and communications sectors. Her interest lies in overall personal, career & professional development recognising where and when harmony and efficiency is missing and responding accordingly.