Disengagement Pandemic: Wonder Why?

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The global pandemic of employee disengagement has two main reasons: 1) Restrictive & Tropophobic Organizational Structures, and 2) Employees’ Higher Expectations.

Despite their being anachronic, bureaucratic organizational structures are still the most pervasive structures in the world. No human being with self-respect and dignity could feel good about working within a restrictive/tropophobic organizational structure that is stifling and demeaning, let alone millennials who have the highest expectations of all generations.

The obvious question is why haven’t organizations changed their restrictive/tropophobic structures?

Incredibly, as it may sound, most of them have no clue about organizational design principles, much less about the best way to go about transforming their restrictive structures or dominant hierarchies.

To make things even worse, big consulting corporations have pushed their highly profitable business by focusing on the symptoms, just like most pharmaceutical companies have done with human health, rather than providing the cure for the malady. This has created an unprecedented level of “solutions” with a myriad of shapes and forms of organizations that have only confused and mislead HR departments throughout the world.

To top it all off, businesses are so busy reactively dealing with daily issues that no one seems to have the energy, or the time, to even think about breaking free from this downward spiral, just hoping things will get better but, you guessed it, things will only get worse!

Ironically, when businesses are doing well, they feel so good that usually and obviously don’t see the need to change anything and they fall asleep on their laurels. And when things don’t go well, they feel that they cannot afford the luxury to stop and think, let alone to change their restrictive organizational structure.

The solution to the disengagement epidemic is a scientifically profound, yet beautifully simple, process that was offered to the entire world back in the 1960s by Fred and Merrelyn Emery. It is a two-stage process that can take place in as little as a single day, called the Search Conference (SC) and Participative Design Workshop (PDW), that gives rise to a temporary organizational structure conducive to ideal-seeking behavior. In other words, an organizational environment whereby the workers feel that all their personal psychological criteria for job satisfaction are fully met, which leads to a synergistic and powerful organizational culture.

The result is a more relevant job for highly engaged workers with a higher purpose and is evidenced immediately after the SC & PDW. The sustainability of the results is guaranteed by all those who were involved in the process and who understand that this is just the beginning of a meaningful, purposeful, and indefinite journey into a brighter professional future!

As if this were not great enough, there are very many additional bonuses from this process, such as eliminating major headaches in HR with “Talent Management,” or the selection processes because they no longer have to worry about making sure new hires “fit” into their organizational culture, avoiding all the conflicts generated by performance appraisals, avoiding “talent wars” amongst companies and, perhaps the greatest of all the bonuses, the emergence of a culture of transparency, integrity, and trust based on moral authority.

Here’s to the health of your highly engaged workforce!

JC Wandemberg Ph.D.

President & Founder

Sustainable Systems International

About the author: Dr. Wandemberg is an international consultant, professor, and analyst of economic, environmental, social, managerial, marketing, and political issues. For the past 30 years Dr. Wandemberg has collaborated with corporations, communities, and organizations to integrate sustainability through self-transformation processes and Open Systems Design Principles, thus, catalyzing a Culture of Trust, Transparency, and Integrity.

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