Companies set out the vision and the aspiration, people make things happen. The question is: do your people want to make it happen?

Companies don’t make stuff happen. People do!

Talk is cheap. Which is why most companies these days have a written and documented Vision, Mission, and set of Values that is not lived and breathed by its people.

Most company Vision, Mission and Values sit on a plaque in reception, lie on the company website, and appear in the annual report. And that’s it; ticked that box.

In reality, a company’s Vision, Mission and Values [and all the other such stuff that comes along with these] is nothing more than a wish list. It’s saying “this is how we’d like to be”. The challenge is to turn this wish list into reality – to translate it into the organisational DNA, culture and behaviour – both collectively [as a group/team] as well as individually [person by person].

Which is why I say “companies don’t make things happen; people do”. Companies set out the vision and the aspiration, people make it happen. Or, to put a finer point on it, ‘engaged people’ make it happen – since the people who are not engaged don’t care either way.

Employee engagement is woefully low

So what percentage of Australians are engaged at work? I know that most companies in Australia report somewhere between 55% [low] and 85% [high] of their people are engaged; that’s the range in which they operate. And yet, the worldwide Gallup study into workplace engagement [State of the Global Workplace: 2023 Report] reports that only 23% of Australian people are engaged at work [it gets a lot worse for other countries].

And of the 77% who are not engaged, 11% of them are ‘actively disengaged’. Now I know there are different ways of measuring ‘employee engagement’, but I have to say that in my experience the Gallup numbers tell the real story. They’ve been measuring employee engagement since 2009.

What about YOU?

Which gets me on to YOU – the one with talent. It’s all very well having talent, but that’s only half the equation. The other half is ‘fit for purpose’ – the right talent for this job or that role. And so if you’re not engaged by this job or that role then you become, in effect, wasted talent. My advice to you = stop wasting your life and the company’s time, and move on.

If, however, you are perfectly match and suited to your job and role, it is extremely likely you will be engaged by work at work. Your talent will spill everywhere, you will be challenged and rewarded, and before long you will be one of those people making the company wish list [Vision, Mission, and Values] a daily reality. And oh boy, don’t companies need people like YOU!

It boils down to YOU

At the end of the day it boils down to YOU – the person with talent. The company can’t make you want to do anything. The company can’t make you make it happen. Remember, it is your life, and going through the motions is not a great way to spend five sevenths of one’s life. And when you do find the ‘perfect fit’ for your talent, you will make extra-ordinary things happen for both yourself, and your company.

Richard Sauerman
Richard Sauerman
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