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Executives, C-Level, Founders, Leaders; Capture the Moment Please!

I recently wrote an article about the significance of this moment we are in, because of the pandemic.  Many of us, for the first time, were forced to look at our lives and do some reflection. It is a moment to see what matters, what fulfills us, and what is redundant. If we miss this moment, it is very likely that we will get busy (the disease of our times) again. This being busy will be the excuse to protect the status quo, stay in our comfort zone even if it does not serve us, even if we know deep down, some things have to change. Let’s seize this opportunity is what I am suggesting.

This time I want to reach out to leaders, C-level executives, Founders.

Please watch and listen to what is happening around you and in the world. Please take the time to listen to what your people are saying about the changes they need in the workplace and how and where to work. Commanding everyone to return to the office and spend 8-12 hours there every day is not going to work this time. We need some hybrid solutions. Face-to-face time is precious, we all know the benefits. Do people really need it every day though?

The remote work concept did not start because of Covid-19. People were demanding this flexibility for a long time. The pandemic just accelerated the pace of this change and brought all the evidence to the surface that it is indeed possible for the majority of jobs. We did not try this for a month or two, we tried this for 15 months now. It works.

People love that they do not waste time commuting; there are cost savings; they can take care of their children when needed; they can be around their pets; they can find jobs in other parts of the country or even in the world. Some of these reasons may not seem so important to you and you may say you worked without all this and were fine but these are the needs of today, not the past.

Calculate the risk you are taking if you make this decision solely on your own. A May survey of 1,000 U.S. adults showed that 39% would consider quitting if their employers weren’t flexible about remote work. The generational difference is clear: Among Millennials and Gen Z, that figure was 49%, according to the poll by Morning Consult on behalf of Bloomberg News. It already started; people are quitting their job if they are not offered flexibility.

You will lose your people in the long run even if they feel like they have to obey your command now. Unhappy people, people who are forced to do things they do not believe in are never productive. In studies by the Queen’s School of Business and by the Gallup Organization, disengaged workers had 37% higher absenteeism, 49% more accidents, and 60% more errors and defects. In organizations with low employee engagement scores, they experienced 18% lower productivity, 16% lower profitability, 37% lower job growth, and 65% lower share price over time.

Their eye is on the next job.

More than one in four (26%) workers set to quit their job in search of a new challenge as confidence returns to the economy as was shared in a recent article.

You cannot keep your best talent by paying more either. Maybe for a while, but not in the long run.

So please read all the research, listen to your people, do surveys where they can stay anonymous and tell the truth. They know what they are talking about. They are adults. They know what is best for them and the company.

  • Do not think short-term.
  • Give your people the autonomy to make their own decision.
  • Give them freedom and flexibility to work at their own schedule, at the place they feel productive as long as they deliver the results.
  • Give them the big vision.
  • Give them the chance to find purpose in what they do.

A World Economic Forum article refers to Deloitte’s steps Reflect, Recommit, Re-engage, Rethink and Reboot that has been discussed since September of 2020 in this article. You will see in the diagram that Purpose is right at the center. People need a why to come to work other than just making money. The article also adds “At the core of these steps is the idea that it’s important for leaders to take time to pause and listen to voices from across their organizations, as part of a more ‘human-centered’ approach to workforce management.”  Same suggestions are offered to leaders, wherever you look.

You will be rewarded if you do the right thing. People will be loyal. They will feel proud to work for you. The companies that already had this type of culture have done amazing before, during, and now as we approach the days of after-Covid. (Wait for my series, where I will highlight them all.) This is the ONLY way forward when you pay attention to what Millennials and Gen Z are asking. They are getting to be the biggest workforce soon. You cannot move forward denying their needs and wants.

  • Please do not go back.
  • Please do a re-alignment of the priorities.
  • Please do not deny what we all witnessed.
  • Please do the right thing.
  • Please capture the moment with its teachings.
  • And embrace the change with your people’s help.

This is the only way for a better future: for thriving organizations with capable, passionate, purposeful, fulfilled human beings!

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Brooke O. Erol
Brooke O. Erolhttps://www.purposeful.business/
Brooke O. Erol started her career at IBM following the traditional path she was given to be "successful". She quit her "great job" on paper after 11 years, feeling she is not aligned with it. She started her journey to find her purpose in life. She started her first business in 2003; Your Best Life to help professionals who don’t like their jobs and want to find more meaning at work. After being around so many unhappy people at work as her clients, she decided to help the organizations and leaders who employed them. She started her second business; Purposeful Business to help leaders catch up with our times and grow their businesses without sacrificing the well-being of their people; where profit becomes a by-product rather than the main goal. She believes life is too precious to live only for weekends and retirement. She is the author of Create a Life You Love. She is also the co-author of "From Hierarchy to High Performance: Unleashing the Hidden Superpowers of Ordinary People to Realize Extraordinary Results" that became an International Best Seller in 2018. She speaks and writes about Leadership, Purpose-Driven Life and Organizations, Future of Work in the US, and abroad.

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2 CONVERSATIONS

  1. BRAVO – brilliant Brooke 🙂
    Within the capitol of human existence we find the demand and need for purpose. We have to have meaning, not only because we are rational, but also emotional creatures that are defined by our relations (all types).
    The soil that purpose must be nourished and fused by our values to be fertile, and they cannot only be prudential, because prudence is a virtue (one of the four cardinal virtues) and holds much value when lived out, but it is not a core concept – although a close relative.
    Any kind of purpose must relate to the core concepts – The Good, The True, The Just and The Beautiful guided by Phronesis (practical wisdom) and Freedom. This is actually why it makes sense to talk about meaning and purpose – it is a species of living out our values.
    Personal freedom and autonomy are important concepts in the life of the individual, the proverbial “master of our own house” (Aristotle) comes to mind. The pandemic has shown us that this personal freedom is feasible for the individual and even for companies (social structures) can continue to master their own house, their organisation, even if there’s no one physically present in their offices.
    It is a proven concept “Remote work” it has transcended the knowing-doing gap, and let’s remember individuality, because not all are equally comfortable working remote – let’s be inclusive and provide for individuality and create diverse “ways of working” that are flexible, has room for all and encompasses the individual and the organisation in beautiful balance.
    Any CEO, CxO, Leader, Manager and Employee should listen, and listen to each other as individuals and not stereotyped groups of profiles – to treat everyone equally we must treat everyone different, because we are all different and the same.

    • Thank you Per for taking the time to read it but more so for taking the time to add your contribution. So much wisdom in there. These comments made me think “yes we should write some pieces together” since what you know compliments what I say in such a deeper level with a lot of references to philosophy. You remind everyone these are not new concepts. They have been here for centuries. I am grateful for all your contribution and your friendship. Always astonished with your brilliance. Thank YOU!

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