“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
As children, we were asked this question over and over again. Even now as adults we ask the same question to the kids in our lives. It could just be a way to humor ourselves with the adorable answers we get, but truly, even from a young age we understand that the career path we pursue becomes a strong part of our identity. We don’t ask, “what do you want to do?” We ask, “what do you want to be?”
How many people actually feel a deep sense of belonging at their current job? Who among us said, “when I grow up I want to do something with borderline competency that I don’t really care about just to make enough money to survive”?
Unfortunately, only one in 10 Brits feel engaged and happy at their workplace (according to Gallup’s State of Global Workplace Report). Many don’t feel a strong connection with their company or the mission—if there even is one. You don’t need a study to tell you how many problems disengagement creates for a business, but for those who need more convincing, employees who are checked-out cost the U.K. economy anywhere in between £50 and £70 billion through loss of productivity.
If disengagement is so damaging and expensive, we should first understand what employee engagement is. I like to define employee engagement as a person who shows up to work each day as their best self by passionately adding value and proactively seeking to achieve their company’s mission. Engaged employees demonstrate this through their interactions with coworkers, their attitude, and of course, their work.
Creating a sense of belonging with each employee requires more than free lunches or interesting work perks; it’s a commitment from the leadership team to focus on the specific and individual needs of every employee.
To tackle this sensitive topic, TWELVE will be at the National Employee Engagement Conference, on Wednesday the 15th of January, in London talking about the role of values alignment in overcoming burnout and reducing employee turnover.