Getting to the heart of employee disengagement

June 22, 2023

Do you remember as a kid playing for hours doing something you loved? Remember how the time melted away without you realizing it, only to snap out of it when your mom or dad called you in for dinner or bedtime?

How many of your employees feel that way about their work? Itis work, after all, and studies show that most do not have that sort of experience in their jobs. According to a 2022 Gallup survey, at least 50%of the US workforce could be considered “quiet quitters,” with a particularly high percentage among workers under age 35. The same survey revealed that only32% of workers were engaged in their work while 18% were openly disengaged.  

Companies have been applying a wide range of solutions to overcome chronic disengagement. Everything from in-office snacks and recreation options to a host of wellness offerings folded into benefits packages have not yielded significant improvement. That is because no amount of salary and benefits will replace the fact that the work itself may not be intrinsically motivating.

What causes us to lose that fundamental sense of wonder and joy we had when we were younger? Dr. Donald Winnicott was an English pediatrician and psychologist who observed that when lacking nurturing support for their most-basic needs and desires, children develop a “false self” that is compliant and allows them to fit into society in a mannerly, orderly way. They receive conditional approval and adjust their behavior subconsciously, covering up their original, true desire. What they give up, however, is creativity, spontaneity, and authenticity.

Dr. John Rom built on these concepts as he studied how people expressed themselves in their work and achievements. He discovered that many people make important life decisions – like what field of study to enter or what career to pursue – based on external pressures instead of inner motivations. What can result is a lifetime of pleasing others at the expense of one’s internal motives. Dr. Rom worked with clients to uncover their truSelf so they could pursue work that allowed them to genuinely express themselves in a manner consistent with their unique strengths.

Not sure how many of your employees are working in their truSelf? Consider sharing our WorkFulfillment Pulse Survey with your team members and have them report back on their results. It can be the beginning of a transformational conversation about how to tailor the work and environment to allow each person to be their best self.  

BreakThrough Performance Systems has modernized Dr. Rom’s methods and introduced tru™ StrengthRealization. This innovative platform helps companies and individuals tap into their full potential and increase the sense of fulfillment through work. Companies can now help employees discover their truSelf, paving the way for more fulfilling work, greater creativity, and improved productivity.

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