In 2007 a survey of over 90,000 employees in 18 countries revealed that less than 20% of workers were giving “full discretionary effort”, or in plain English their best, to their job. Worse yet 4 in 10 described themselves as disengaged or disenchanted. Think about what that means to your business. Now contrast this to the fact that a majority of these 80% of workers wanted to give more, but were held back for some reason. Think it was compensation? Think again… The majority of the reasons came down to the employee’s relationship with the organization, its leadership, and/or their work experience.
A fully engaged team, all pulling together toward the same goal is one of the most powerful forces in business. It can overcome money, competitive or market conditions, geographic limitations, or strategic disadvantages. To get there you need more than just the boss/employee relationship. You need your team to understand and believe in what they are doing. You need them to have a mission, not a job.
Imagine your company as a huge flywheel powered by a fully engaged workforce who believes in what they are doing. A thousand small pushes all in the same direction can create unstoppable momentum and energy to drive your business wherever your collective dream takes you. This transition is a huge part of the change from a level 3 to a level 4 company.
In addition, you as a leader get a secondary benefit. When people understand the mission and understand the important “Why’s” of your strategy, they can be trusted to make the right small tactical decisions in their daily interactions. If you give them some simple parameters to work from they can even be trusted to make larger decisions within the framework you have established. This key fact creates one of the underpinnings of how we help leaders recover their lives. We help them free up time to spend on strategy and big picture decisions that only they can make, ultimately freeing up time and energy for the rest of their lives.