At SCA we believe that the workplace should be a great place to be – rewarding and meaningful with the right amount of challenge and support for each of us. After all we spend a lot of our time at work – recent research has shown that in the UK we work the longest hours of the G7.
In the 21st Century people expect the work they do to provide for their higher level needs – belonging, purpose, meaning, achievement and even a little fun too! In our recent research into what make a great place to work one of our respondees said “We know there is no such thing as a free lunch but we give a lot to the organisations we work for and good employers recognise and respect that by giving us a lot back – not just financially but in how they treat us, how we are managed and the other small things that make a big difference”.
And it makes sense from an employer point of view too – research consistently shows that a more engaged workforce has a positive impact on performance, productivity, absenteeism, retention, innovation, customer satisfaction and positive outcomes in public services. Looking at the research again, although here in the UK we do the longest hours (and are one of the greatest users of technology), we have one of the lowest levels of productivity.
With many areas of the economy starting to grow again, we are in a war for talent. Baby boomers are retiring and the next generation is smaller, so there’s less talent about. A recent survey (PWC 18th Annual Global CEO Survey 2015) showed that 73% of global CEOs see the lack of availability of skills as a serious threat to their business, compared to 63% last year.
For those sectors where cuts, downsizing and “working smarter not harder” are still the norm, engaging and motivating staff is even more important – not only might these people be tempted to move to organisations where the more obvious rewards are greater but working in such a challenging climate can erode just the innovation, productivity and performance that are so much needed.
Technology has already replaced people in many areas of work so success in the 21st Century will not come from automation and speeding up processes it will come from innovation, creativity, knowledge sharing and spark – all of which need an open, encouraging and blame free environment where people feel valued and can give their best.