While reading the news recently, I was shocked by an advertisement from a large international company offering services to help businesses grow in profitability. I was stunned to learn they suggest companies have employees wear monitoring devices in order to better understand their people’s tendencies, productivity and stress levels. By gathering these metrics, it’s implied that companies can become more efficient, resulting in greater profits. This advertisement downplayed the expected employee response of “I’m being watched by Big Brother,” by simply stating that employees would adapt to being monitored over time. Really?
What happened to talking to your people to gain a better understanding of what is going on in the workplace, to discover who they are and how they are wired, to know how they are succeeding and being challenged?
Regardless of which generation we belong to, research shows that we are all hardwired for relationship, not for living as human guinea pigs in a daily scientific experiment, being tracked like animals or vehicles. Requiring employees to wear monitoring devices day in and day out to gather information about their productivity and stress level will not equate to greater commitment, trust, employee engagement or advancement of the business. The only increase a company will see by strapping a box to their people is an increase in turnover…and, thus, a reduction in profits.
Employees need to feel valued and given a voice in the workplace. While we can gather data on employee performance, this alone will not satisfy the needs of an ever-evolving workforce.
There’s a lot of talk about what to do to with the Millennial generation in the workplace. In the midst of all this conversation, little has been discussed or solutions offered that go after the very heart of the matter – a desire for relationship – something we all long for both inside and outside of the workplace. Monitoring devices and treating your people like robots will not speak to this desire or lead to revenue growth. However, creating a company culture that fosters connection and engagement, allowing for authentic communication will.
Millennials are the catalysts for change in the workplace as their voice exemplifies the unspoken desires of many generations. We all want to feel valued, trusted and appreciated – seen and known. At some level, we all desire to know the work we are doing is somehow making a difference in the world. Everyone can thrive in a workplace that allows people to spread their wings a bit, try new ways of doing things and gives employees the freedom to fail as well as succeed. This is an environment that leads to innovation and greater profits.
There is a workplace culture that all generations can thrive in. The question to corporate executives and managers alike is, “Are you ready to build this culture in your workplace?”
How do companies create a culture of connection and engagement? That’s a question RISE Global is helping answer for executives and managers. I can tell you it begins with companies knowing their employees and who they are, not just about their ability to complete the task in front of them.