Imagine you are in the job market, and just came across this chart. Would you be inspired to join the workforce?
Today’s workforce is proving to be quite dynamic and diverse. Those willing to engage their employers, and those willing to understand an employer’s culture before joining will reap mutual gains and leadership. These companies will lead in disruptive innovations that could potentially boost revenues, shareholder’s value, as well as the employees’ energies, focus and participation.
Employee Engagement is a state of being. Employees who exude curiosity, agility and a sense of happiness are more likely to enjoy what they do, and invest more of their time at work than their counterparts. Simply put, they do not need to feel inspired to come to work—they are already inspired!
When asked to comment on The Future Workforce, Blair Sheppard a global strategy and leadership expert, remarked, “it’s not knowable”. Nevertheless, he urges that to succeed, one must know the trends and manage the change, by solving today’s problems with the future in mind.
So what do small business owners need to know?
Given today’s uncertainties, millennials are entering the workforce with a different set of goals. They want engagement: the need to feel a sense that their daily work makes an impact in the world. At their core, they feel and are convinced that in order for the world to change they must be the change they expect to see.
So, why are we faulting them when we hold the same belief ourselves? Wouldn’t you want to do work that connects you to a higher purpose? The truth is that we all do.
Millennials have proven cable of boosting the overall state of the economy by building juggernaut organizations like Facebook, Tumblr, Mashable, etc. Could it be that we are frustrated not with them but with our own lack of engagement? Maybe we have not taken the time to understand ourselves, our motivations, the organizations where we work, and how the world has evolved and continues to evolve?
Different generations are inspired by different set of beliefs and purpose. The baby-boomers were likely to be motivated by the need for certainty. Then, management sought to address those needs by following the Maslow hierarchy of needs theory. Although basic human needs remain unchanged, the reality is that our world is no longer as it used to be.
The thinking that big corporations exist for the shareholders is rather inadequate; because without an engaged workforce there are no such gains —human capital is the real capital. Without it, the creative genius that drives business innovation is dead. That lesson is also important for every small business owner to take to heart as you grow your company.
Therefore seek to attract the right hires, those aligned with your vision, purpose and culture. While the employee examines if the environment they wish to work aligns with: why you want to work there (purpose), where you see yourself in the future (vision), and what you stand for—your values.
The“Me Too Movement” is a great example. Simply, do you want to work in an environment where women are sexually harassed just because they need a paycheck? Unfathomable I know… but you get my point.
So how can you engage workers at your small business? The following tips are vital if engagement is to be realized:
- Purpose (Vision): We all need purpose to ignite our passions and inspires our daily living. Align your vision with the company that you wish to work for and build.
- Presence (Identity): Your true essence and personality comes alive when you engage what you love. You know it when you find it, it’s your flow, and it’s like finding true love. So, building on ‘know thyself’ daily is absolutely vital…it’s where innovations are drawn.
- Passion (Abilities): When purpose is known, nothing can deter you from doing what you MUST. Your employees’ latent abilities and what they love to do is a well that never runs dry.
- Profit (Value): The reality of life is that you need to eat, and if you are a small business you need to grow and become sustainable. Consequently, when you empower your employees to serve others by addressing an unmet need, delivering valuable goods or services you win.
I once read that people who build their work, life and dreams/ businesses around purpose and passion always seem to weather any storm. They adapt swiftly and leverage the current trends.
Yours my friend is to tap into your purpose whether you are a small business owner or an individual—because Purpose, why you or your business exists, is the initiative to true engagement.
What work do you do? Do you feel engaged both at work, career and in life?
Carolyne Njogu is the founding principal at VPF Strategies, and helps professionals and organizations gain clarity around building better brands for better results. She is a speaker, the author of Being Grounded: 21 Days To Come Alive and Love Your Life, and a contributing writer for various publications.