A lot of companies anywhere in the world are not doing well or not as well as they could do. And this is not because of economic reasons, technological innovations or stiff competition. It is how you deal with them. One of the biggest factors, if not the biggest, is the human part and in particular the employee part. Happy employees will work better, produce more and work more effectively.
Enthusiasm and involvement, especially with employees, are very important in the workplace. You will see that most well-performing companies over the world have these enthusiastic and involved employees. So if happiness at the workplace is so important, why do not all organizations ensure this is part of their management philosophy?
This is what I am going to explain to you hereunder, also giving those who cannot easily find a good company a maybe life-changing alternative! Check out the end.
Example of Google’s self-driving car
What will Google’s self-driving car mean in the future for transport and transport companies, car manufacturers, damage repairers, insurers and road authorities? That is the type of question that research agencies should be busy with. In fact they should be happy to deal with it. Technological innovations have an impact on organizations, it appears time and again, and force them to change and modernize continuously.
Experts in the business are convinced that standing still is not an option. Suppose the self-driving car really comes to fruition, then that can have a huge impact on all branches that have to do with transport. As an employer in such a sector, you will need to anticipate that.
How to do this? Simply by indicating what is coming and then involving your staff and having them participate in solutions.
The travel agencies, the retail, telecom, media and entertainment world have already experienced that technological innovations can turn entire sectors upside down. Technological disruption can also be visible in a specific business process. Think of customer service that is unthinkable nowadays without the use of social media. You will have recently seen platforms such as Airbnb and Uber emerge, which are a threat to the hotel industry and the taxi industry. Why wait for a random, often grumpy taxi driver from an old-fashioned taxi center when you can choose a driver with the best ratings through Uber and whom you also pay less? These applications of technology make it possible to create more value for consumers and that is why they are such formidable new competitors.
Adapt to changing environment
In order not to lose customers, existing companies must constantly adapt to the environment. One of the most important success factors for this change is the degree of involvement and enthusiasm of employees. As many employees as possible must stick out their feelers, not just the CEO or the development department. On the one hand, this provides valuable input, because together you see much more than on your own. On the other hand, employees who find that the environment is changing are also more quickly aware of the need for changes in course. That alertness and agility come about when employees feel involved with the company and are passionate about their work.
Doesn’t seem impossible to do, does it?
Successful organizations score demonstrably well on the enthusiasm and involvement of their employees. Examples are Samsung, KLM and Exxon Mobil. How do they do that? A culture of trust is very important. Employees must be able to rely on their interests being dealt with properly. A clear mission and inspiring leadership are a few of the other success factors.
Strong leadership also plays a role. There are leaders who say: we just do it. In other words, where there is the will, there will always be a way. Still not every company has adopted this view and here is why.
Why no change?
If the success factors are clear, why do so many organizations fail? Often both the management and the employees know how it should be done, but they still cannot solve it. This often has to do with internal politics. For example, as an employee, can you be smarter than your boss? Old and worn structures also hinder progress. We always did it that way, so why change? Also, remember that managements are often no more than a kind of middle management. Every quarter they are under pressure from their supervisory board or shareholders to show good results, otherwise panic will break out.
Many see performance pressure as one of the main causes of a lack of modernization. Innovation is a dangerous game the results of which are not guaranteed to be good. The organizations that do respond well to technological changes often have less performance pressure. They are often start-ups like Airbnb, and sometimes you see it at satellite companies of larger players.
In addition, the difference in work ethic and attitude between generations is not to be underestimated. The Y-generation (born after 1980) finds the balance between work and private life very important. In addition to their work, they have many other things that they like to spend time on. The generations up there don’t understand that, because they themselves are more used to focusing on their jobs and putting a lot aside for that. Generation Y demands more from employers. They say: “I work for you as long as you fascinate me”. Incidentally, this applies especially to the younger, highly educated. Other groups don’t have that much to demand.
Example of a good company
Just to end on a good note. Here is what the CEO of a successful company with 220 employees said: “We want to recruit employees with a sense of human values. Competence alone is not enough. The values to which we attach great importance are respect, a positive attitude, loyalty, a sense of responsibility, equality and aptitude for sharing. I share all the initiatives, the happiness and even the knowledge. I like to step outside my comfort zone to tackle new challenges. Also my employees will be able to get shares in the company and about 25% already have.”
Do you recognize any of this? Are you working in such an environment? Please share with us in the comment boxes below.
As an organization, if you want to use your employees optimally in anticipating change, you will have to ask the ‘how’ questions. ‘How do you lead, how do you involve people in the matter, how do you stimulate enthusiasm? In short: how do you organize the process? Is that strictly hierarchical, or do you leave it up to the people themselves? Which form you choose differs per situation and type of organization. There is no doubt that a well-considered answer to these questions is needed. Because only with inspired and committed employees do you have a chance to become one of the winners in the market.
As an employee you might want to seek for companies with a happy workforce. You can start looking for the ones that have gotten yearly awards for best people management and the likes. My guess is though that the majority of companies still work “old style”.
What to do when no such opportunity occurs?
I know it is very easy to say then that you should seek your luck somewhere else. I realize that for many of us this comes as a very difficult decision as you know what you have and you do not know what you will get or if you can get it. But maybe you owe it to yourself to have an alternative and I can offer you a way out.
This way is to start working the internet by having your own website that makes you money on the side, whilst still having your old job. Wouldn’t it be marvelous to have a fallback in case things go pear-shaped? The thing is: everybody can do this. Becoming your own boss and working from home.
Give yourself a chance!
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