Recently, I came across a blog by John Mattone who at one time coached Steve Jobs. In it he wrote about the importance of inner core work which he defined as a person’s "soul" (self-concept, character, values, thinking patterns, emotions). I refer to this as self-awareness or knowing oneself. Think back to Socrates, or perhaps the Oracle at Delphi thousands of years ago who said, Know Thyself.
Self-awareness is one of four foundational elements to individual and organization transformation about which I am passionate. I am in the process of finalizing writing on the crisis undermining America’s workforce known in HR circles as disengagement. It emerged over many years and is the result of an emphasis on short-term problem solving, lack of critical thinking, and meeting arbitrary Wall Street goals. It's now known by its most prevalent symptom-- the lack of employees engaged in work. This is a critical issue for our society.
The problem of employee disengagement is significant in American culture. Not only does it affect the productivity of individual companies but it also ripples over into the core of the American psyche.
Here a few thoughts about disengagement that most people are unaware of...
Disengagement means not being connected to or involved with something. It is the experience of being turned-off at work, and not caring about the product or service you deliver. Characterized as malaise, in the most serious cases, workers will purposely undermine company initiatives or even products. Malaise is a result of discontent. When people don't speak about this at work, one of two things can happen--They may turn the frustration inward causing disease or they could explode from the stress somewhere in or outside of the workplace (perhaps at home with family or in the car in the form of road rage, for example).
According to a recent Gallup poll, roughly 17% admit to undermining their employer. A high visibility example you may recall was the disgruntled Tesla employee who tampered with the company’s manufacturing operations software causing significant problems and cost overruns.
I’d appreciate hearing stories you’ve experienced or heard about. Please take a moment and send them along.
Have any of my comments evoked something in you? What is your thinking on these topics? Sharing your reflections helps all of us to grow and expand our thinking. If you have found the information of value, please forward it to colleagues, associates and friends.
Also, if you are interested in reading more, click here for the link to John Mattone’s blog.