In the Times, an editorial by The Energy Project, which teamed up with the Harvard Business Review last fall to conduct a survey of more than 12,000 white-collar employees across a variety of different industries to understand people’s engagement and productivity at work. Here’s a chart they came up showing why so many of these workers lacked a fulfilling workplace:
The Energy Project identified four core needs for employees:
• Renewal: The ability to take breaks throughout the day to recharge and prevent burnout
• Focus: The ability to effectively prioritize tasks
• Value: Feeling cared for by a supervisor
• Purpose: Deriving meaning and significance from work
The problem is that the Top Brass recognizes the importance of each of these things, but when The Energy Project asked, “So how much do you invest in meeting those needs?” they said “an uncomfortable silence typically ensues.”
What motivates companies to invest in their employees? According to The Energy Project:
Pain is one powerful motivator. Often companies seek out our services when they’ve begun losing valued employees, or a C.E.O. recognizes his own exhaustion, or a young, rising executive suddenly drops dead of a heart attack — a story we’ve been told more than a half dozen times in just the past six months.
“…a young, rising executive suddenly drops dead of a heart attack…”
If you’re looking for a better workplace environment, hopefully it won’t have to come to that.