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The disconnect between corporate leadership and employees

In the May 30, 2014 New York Times Sunday Review | Opinion, Schwartz and Porath discussed why Americans hate work. The authors cited a 2013 Gallup report that 70% of Americans do not feel engaged at work.

So what?

Schwartz and Porath point to research that shows the correlation between engagement — defined as “involvement, commitment, passion, enthusiasm, focused effort and energy” — and corporate performance (i.e., higher profits).

The authors asked senior leaders how much they invest in helping employees feel more energized, valued, focused, and purposeful. They reported being met with what I call “orphan Annie stares.”

Scott Adams’ brilliant cartoon strip illustrates the disconnect. Most, many, nearly all U.S. corporate executives (the so-called “leadership”) continue to expect employees to “do more with less” and demand more and more from fewer and fewer human resources. All in the effort to earn more profit and meet the expectations of shareholders. But does it work?

As Schwartz and Porath pointed out, there’s a reason Costco is more profitable than Walmart. Wall Street didn’t like the Costco business model that makes a huge investment in employees. Yet, Costco keeps beating Walmart.

The C-suite of corporate America and Wall Street need a wake up call!

Here are just a few more voices on the importance of this issue: Fast Company CNBC TED Daily News article citing the Gallup poll

Go ahead and Google it or Bing it yourself. The list goes on and on….

Sherry S. Jennings, PhD
Founder and principal of Sound Governance. Sherry started Sound Governance because board leaders need a safe space.

Read more about sherry.
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