Working against the aims of the organization

Recently the HBR Network Blog published an article about the question whether employers should ban email after working hours. In the midst of this article some astonishing Gallup's research results were mentioned. Seven in 10 American workers are “not engaged” or “actively disengaged” in their work, meaning they are emotionally disconnected from their workplaces and less likely to be productive.

Gallup has identified three types of workers: engaged, not engaged, and actively disengaged. Thirty percent of U.S. workers are engaged — they are involved in and enthusiastic about their work and company. At 52%, not engaged workers make up the vast majority of the U.S. workplace — they are indifferent and basically just show up, do the minimum required, get their paycheck, and go home. Actively disengaged workers comprise 18% of the U.S. workforce and actually work against the aims of the organization.

Even more troubling is that workplace engagement levels have hardly budged since Gallup began measuring them in 2000, with fewer than one-third of Americans engaged in their jobs in any given year.

Leaders often say that their organization’s greatest asset is its people — but in reality, this is only true when those employees are fully engaged in their jobs. Problems arise when companies make policy decisions without considering whether their employees are engaged. If we assume work can be engaging and rewarding, rather than a necessary burden, our assumptions about people and policy become quite different. Organizations that want to build the 21st century intelligent enterprise need to have an engaged workforce. Gallup lists three ways to boost engagement:

1. Select the right people
2. Develop employees' strengths
3. Enhance employees' well-being

One may wonder what kind of technology is needed to support the second and third initiative. Gallup stresses that the customer touch points are an important place to start. This implies that especially in business moments employees and customers need to be supported by a human centric technology. A technology that supports them in making decisions based on their specific situation. This requires a technology that is based on contextual intelligence that supports meaning and behavior.

It becomes more and more clear that the traditional solutions don’t work anymore.

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