It is a genuine problem area; so many feeling disengaged in their work as they feel powerless, feel controlled and worse, feel under financial strain. One only has to look at the increased levels in anxiety, stress which is often caused by a struggle to find a balanced life between their struggles at work impacting on their lives at home. It is natural when 40% feel under financial strain.
At the same time the figure of only 12.5% of employees being positively engaged in their work means inevitably that many are simply going to work to gain their pay check and with less interest in any strong performance. This too naturally will lead to poor behaviours which will impact on others.
So what is the answer? It must lie in finding individual purpose. It is what everyone owes to themselves anyway – to have real purpose in life, to live life with energy and with aims. However, recent research has indicated that 42% do not feel they have any real purpose in their lives, 24% feel that work saps their energy and 28% feel they are not good enough to aspire for more.
Not good enough? That is so sad. In fact all the above figures are sad. It is one of the big changes that have seen as I suspect these figures are the highest they have been and still rising. I suspect many felt more purpose even back in the dark days of the late 40s, and the late 1970s. Many look back at the days when they had to struggle most, had to fight for their careers and businesses, as some of the best.
We all need purpose. We actually need to have something to strive and fight for.
The good news is that many businesses are responding by helping good talent find causes and empowering them to do things outside of their work to help find purpose – so that balance can be found.
Each person owes to themselves to find a purpose for where they can make a difference but some need help to find the road. This is where reinvention can be of help but more, we all will have to now continuously learn, change and adapt as we go through our careers. Everyone will find times when they will no longer be able to continue without change. It is a modern reality.
With all the arguments over productivity and how to improve it, maybe a greater focus on working with individuals to help them find that piece of purpose could alone just allow for productivity to improve by a few percentage points – which alone makes a major difference and provides a ROI.
The equation must be simple – Individual purpose = higher productivity = greater profit, greater engagement and retention .