Are you stuck in a transactional workforce? Only a quarter of firms are going in the right direction with their people


Do you work for a firm selling a successful product that just requires staff to push rocks and turn widgets, where you’re unaffected by technology disruption and innovative competition? Where all you need to do is to turn up for work when your boss is looking, and you’ll get your annual payrise and bonus?  Where can you just take off on holiday / go to whatever conferences… and all you need to do is slap on your “out of office,” and no one will bother you or dare stress you out with any work demands.

My guess is you don’t… although it was probably like that during the recent pandemic years and recent return to quasi-normality when most people took full advantage of the Great Resignation to put lifestyle very much first in their lives.

Over my career experience, a company is all about its people.  If your colleagues aren’t passionate about your brand, barely enjoy working with each other, are struggling to delight your customers, or grow your partnerships, this post-pandemic business climate could well see your business fall away as more adventurous, disruptive, and passionate businesses steal your mindshare and usurp your competitive position.

Today’s business climate is not for the faint-hearted, and settling for a cushy lifestyle job is something you need to think very hard about as we all venture into a business environment demanding passion and focus.

Even Zoom is losing faith in the remote work ethic it helped create

The sad reality is that nearly half of companies are struggling to get their work ethic back to pre-pandemic levels – and when you consider that even Zoom is mandating staff back to the office, we clearly have a work motivation that is getting worse… not better.  Zoom and most of the G2K are calling staff into the office 2-3 days a week (at a minimum) because they have lost the trust they are motivated, are putting the needed time into their jobs and have lost interest in collaborating with their colleagues.

Net-net, many companies’ leaders are struggling to motivate a dispassionate workforce and want to bring their teams back together physically to retrofit some form of the work culture they can remember from pre-pandemic times.  Their problem is you can’t force people to be passionate and focused; you must show them the way and inspire them with great ideas and your vision for taking your company into a leadership position in your market. If you can’t do that, then you’re either working for a company living on past glories or you’re struggling to motivate yourself as a leader.  Or both…

As our talent survey of service provider employees revealed last year, close to 9 out of 10 staff want to feel more challenged (and are bored), the only saving grace being that 90% of employees are passionate about the impact they can have on enterprise clients.  So corporate leaders have to make sure their staff has that chance to challenge themselves if they want to avoid their firm slipping into the abyss of commodity work and demotivated staff.

Whether we like it or not, the vast majority of today’s companies rely massively on a motivated workforce to stay ahead of their markets during a time of genuine technological disruption and significant cost pressures from years of inflation and a tough economy.

Only a quarter of firms are going in the right direction with their people… make sure you work for one of them if you can’t fix where you are

Most people in my network are associated with the tech industry – either selling/advising on technology services and products or implementing and managing them as part of their tech/operations leader role.  So I thought I’d poll my network to gauge whether their companies’ worth ethics were improving or in decline:

When you consider most people on LinkedIn tend to give a more rose-tinted view of their business world, the fact only 25% see an improvement in work ethic is a pretty damning verdict of where we are.  On top of that, close to half (46%) actually admit their company’s work ethic is bad or very bad.

This data does not bode well, with people getting laid off almost everywhere as the Great Resignation becomes the Great Freakout, and many companies are desperately seeking to offload the deadwood. So make sure you are not seen as deadwood…

Bottom line: Are YOU motivated to be part of a successful business, or do you just care about your lifestyle where a “job is a job”?

In short, you need to evaluate your own career trajectory and decide whether you have the appetite to be on the winning side in this emerging AI economy or if you prefer to meander around today’s strugglers where the work ethic dissipated away somewhere in 2020 and are still clinging to the memories of pre-pandemic days when their brands had real meaning and direction.

Only YOU can honestly answer that question for yourself.  But don’t dwell too long deciding what trajectory you are on, as you may get left behind on the scrap heap of lethargic legacy brands that aren’t going to make it much past the next couple of years in this new economy.

Please stay true to your inner work mojo that got you here in the first place…

Posted in : Buyers' Sourcing Best Practices, Digital OneOffice, Employee Experience, GenAI, Generative Enterprise, HR Strategy, Talent and Workforce


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