April 16, 2015
My ChangeThis “manifesto” (that’s what they call them) was released this week. You can download it here. It starts like this:
Something happened over the last decade, and it wasn’t good for business or employees. More accurately, some things happened, and they’ve combined in a way that makes the workplace more impersonal.
We’ve lost much of our humanity at work.
No one saw it coming. No one intended it.
It arrived in big changes to the economy, but also in small changes to the law, to technology, or to company policy, often with immediate benefits that masked their larger implications. The pension will be phased out in favor of a 401(k) match. The company will help pay for the latest digital device, so much the better to stay in touch with the office. One day a new electronic screening system helps HR take a first pass at incoming applications, and before long the software does most of the sifting. A modest change in workload leads to working through one weekend, which leads to another, which leads, before too long, to having a hard time remembering when one last took a weekend entirely uninterrupted by work.
Having allowed these slight modifications to accumulate over a decade or so, we now find ourselves treating people much more like cogs in the machine, like widgets. We’ve lost much of the human touch for what we now call our ‘human resources.’ Whether a company gets it back will largely determine its future.
To read the full “manifesto,” please download the free PDF at the ChangeThis site. You do not need to provide any personal information to get the download, and you are welcome to circulate it as you see fit.
April 8, 2015
You could call the following a hypothetical situation. Except that it’s not.
It describes the dilemma faced by millions of employees every year who are not well supported on their jobs and are then faced with an old-school employee survey. Watch the video here or read the parallel written piece that follows, then ask yourself how often this happens at your company.
The best example I can give of what’s wrong with current employee engagement processes would be to imagine someone goes to work for a company. Let’s say he’s a good person. He’s a hard worker.
But let’s say that he falls into a situation where he does not have the world’s greatest manager – his manager largely ignores him, doesn’t take him to coffee, doesn’t talk to him often.
It might be an organization where there’s not a tremendous amount of transparency, where there’s a certain amount of fear, where there’s not much recognition or sense of accomplishment . . . you can go on down the list.
Now let’s say this organization decides that, “We’re going to do a survey. And we would like your honest opinion about how you feel in this job.”