Brain Cells and Employee Engagement

Image comparing the active and inactive brain.If I showed you two images of the brain and told you that the grey matter on the right represented 71% of the Canadian workforce – what would you say? So what?

71% of the Canadian workforce is either apathetic or actively disengaged with their work and their workplace. That means their brains are just GREY MATTER.

Let me put this into perspective. If you have 30 employees, that means over 21 of them are not even remotely coming close to “showing up” at work for you, or your customers, or their co-workers. The emotional connection they have to you, your business, the greater purpose and their potential contribution to that purpose is next to none. If Canada was a business, what would that look like as a productivity hit to the bottom line per year? $200 Million?  $200 billion?

What is your annual company revenue? What’s it costing YOU?

How many conversations do those 71% of your employees have with customers each day? With vendors? How many of those conversations are damaging your hard earned reputation?

 Clearly something has to change.

Add to this the fact that by 2025 over 75% of the Canadian workforce will be Millenials, a generation whose entire brain has been wired differently over the past decade as they live, study, interact and collaborate in a digital world. A world where there is little hierarchy, where authenticity trumps title, where dynamic collaboration happens at micro and macro levels, where trust is a currency and where “access” to information has become if not a right, then certainly an expectation. This generation, entering our workplaces, wants a different relationship with you.

The HR implications for the above statistics are near mind blowing. Never to date has there been a time where both the stakes AND the opportunities are so high for creating and sustaining a workplace culture where your people’s brain cells are ACTIVATED and the brains that hold those cells are fully engaged and invested in you and your business.

The companies that get it, that are fully invested in creating high performance cultures have 8 core principles in common.

  1. There is a palpable presence of Reciprocal Trust at all levels
  2. They believe Leadership is not about title but how each individual “shows up” every day – making an impact for the customer
  3. Their brand, and its leaders show up with an Authenticity and Humanity that speaks to something more purpose inspired.
  4. They relentlessly focus on Strategic Alignment so every single person in the organization understands how the work they do contributes to organizational success
  5. They foster Dynamic collaboration where silos are non existent and the crowd usually has the best solution
  6. They invest in ensuring there is a level of Digital IQ at all levels in the organization to ensure comfort doing business in a digital world
  7. They create the organizational space for Relentless Innovation
  8. Their default for knowledge sharing is Operational Transparency so employees access the information they need to better do their jobs, when they need it, how they need it.

I am  business person, and along with every executive I have met, when I invest in something, I like to see some kind of return. Being more prepared to lead my organization in the digital age and seeing the shifts required of myself and my leadership team will, in the end run, result in me having a more successful business. That’s ROI worth getting curious about.

So if you care about what the inside of your employee’s brains look like- and the impact of that on your current and future business, then I invite you to join the conversation on May 8th at Social Media Camp where Denise Lloyd and I will show you how to move closer to a social, connected, engaged workplace that turns the Canadian average upside down.

Christine McLeod

Christine is the Founder of Canada’s only Social Workplace Summit IMPACT99 and has spoken to both public sector, private sector and small business audiences across Canada on topics ranging from digital and future workplace trends and Millennial leadership. When she is not igniting game changing conversation, she can be found running and skiing the trails of BC’s Sea to Sky region- Squamish and Whistler which she calls home.

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