The timing is here for a new vision. Employee engagement continues to be a perennial focus for organizations and the expectations of the newer generations (now the majority of the workforce) are getting more attention from leaders. There is a drive to find more meaning, have more impact and experience more validation for employees who spend the majority of their time at work.
Paradigms and models that came into being during the Industrial Revolution no longer have a place in modern society. That world of work was focused on production and productivity, the outcomes of labor, and not on the experience of those involved in production. The proverbial bottom line needs to be re-defined to include a much broader definition of value. And all those involved in work pursuits should rightly expect to be involved in activities having purpose, be able to derive greater meaning from what they do and experience an honoring of shared values in how they do what they do. No longer should those who work for a living feel dis-engaged, disenfranchised and invalidated. These outcomes do not serve the organization, its customers or society at large.
What if people felt acknowledged, respected and cared for in the course of doing their work?
What if everyone had a clear sense of purpose and derived real meaning from their work?
What if all members of an organization were clear about the value they help to create and were recognized for that value?
What if everyone, regardless of their unique potential, had that potential developed?
What if organizational life provided a container for learning how to positively nurture, challenge, and support one another, with no individual or group being diminished in the process?
We are all being called to step into our highest potential, at work and in life. And we will need to re-think the work experience so that it supports realizing that individual and collective potential including holding ourselves accountable for how we choose to show up: our intentions, our behavior and our impact, and asking leaders to play a major role in co-creating a work environment that helps to elevate the human spirit in all its aspects. With a new vision, we can then again hope to move from surviving to thriving, a state where in our unending striving for bigger and better results, we can ensure that "all boats rise."