I just read a fascinating article on msn.com entitled, “Ten things that will soon disappear forever.” The authors – David Muhlbaum and John Miley – state that, “Emerging technologies and changing practices are sounding the death knell for some familiar items.” Here’s the list:
- Fast Food Workers
- Clutch Car Pedal
- College Textbooks
- Dial-Up Internet
- The Plow
- Your Neighborhood Mail Collection Box
- Your Privacy
- Incandescent Light Bulbs
This article caused an LED light bulb to go off in my head. Changing practices are not only sounding the death knell for familiar items; they are also sounding the death knell for business cultures.
Years ago, a business could get away with having a poor dysfunctional culture because so many employees stayed with visions of a large pension plan, and a 40th service anniversary event where they received a free meal, a gold watch, and a hand-signed letter from the company’s president (the truth: most of the time, a machine signed it).
Today, things are different. Unconstrained and idealistic millennials make up 50 percent of the workforce, most employers want nothing to do with pension plans, and in many companies service anniversary celebrations have been eliminated because leaders would rather honor quality work in the moment vs. quantity of time in title. The “rewards” that existed years ago and enticed employees to stay in bad work environments are a thing of the past, which means that if you do not fix your organization’s culture, employees will run for the door. Why? There’s nothing compelling to keep them in their seat.
Employee engagement is not difficult. You know that external business strategy you have to ensure your company succeeds? Well, you need an internal people strategy to ensure your company succeeds too. Your products, services, and customers are not your most important asset – none of those would be in place if you did not have employees.