Are you aware that the first step in solving any problem is recognising there is one?

Sarah is a senior manager of a large company and she prides herself of making an effort each day to say good morning to all of her staff, greeting them and asking them individually how they are.

She felt she had a great connection and relationship with everyone.

Then one day, Mary spent 20 minutes telling her all that is happening in her world. Sarah stood there listening, wondering why Mary was telling her this, what she was meant to do with this information and how she was going to be late for a meeting.

She thought I’m not equipped to handle this. I’m not a therapist. Why can’t people just come to work, do their job and sort out their life in their own time?

Sarah’s conversation with Mary played on her mind for a while. She kept coming back to the fact that she was not equipped to know how to help her.

She started asking herself when did asking “How are you?’ become a meaningless exchange with zero connection. Realising that the person asking doesn’t really want to know and the person responding doesn’t tell the truth.

She wondered if it was her responsibility to care for the wellbeing of her staff. To be more humane in regards to what is happening in and outside the workplace.

Like Sarah, as a CFO, I could not understand why people could not be more like me. Why could not they just come to work, do their daily activities and then go home. Why was it that some days they excelled beyond expectation and other day’s they may have been there physically though mentally and emotionally, who knows where they were.

And unfortunately, when you look around most workplaces, the majority of managers have this same problem………….. constantly asking themselves “Why does it have to be so hard to engage and motivate staff?”

Let’s Look at the Stats

Since the early 2000’s Gallup’s yearly surveys have shown on average, only 30% of all employees are engaged. Also stating that 30% of all employees are actively disengaged. Leaving 40% who are disengaged.

To put this into perspective let’s bring these % into numbers.  In 2019 there were 7.6 billion people on our planet. For ease, let’s round that up to 8billion.

  • Gallup states that 60% of the world’s population is employed.
  • Therefore, of that 5b people 1.4b are engaged, 1.4b are actively disengaged and 2.2b are disengaged.
  • Houston, I think we have a problem 3.6billion people in the world are disengaged.
  • Imagine what would happen when we engaged 3.6billion people.

Imagine the ripple effect of having people who love what they do. Imagine the creativity and innovation that would come to these businesses, communities, countries and the world.

Well today, we are going to deep dive into how we all may be able to solve this problem.

As a CFO, I accepted that in every workplace there will always be disengaged employees. It was not until years later after co-founding the Chaston Centre that I was driven to look at the cause and not just the symptom.

In July 2011, I loved my CFO role. I lived to work. Normally, first one in and last one to leave. Then on Sunday the 10th of July, my husband and I woke thinking we were going to have a lazy day at home.

Within moments I was running out the back door trying to wake our 27-year-old son Dan who had passed out there. Dan, Dan wake up, wake up.

Very quickly the paramedics arrived and within seconds they said the words no mother, no parent every want to hear……………” I’m sorry madam he is dead, probably has been for several hours.”

  • What does one do with that information?
  • What would you do?
  • What did I do? I choose normal and the day after his funeral returned to work. Eating more. Drinking more and working even harder.

Totally disrespected Dan and me.

Though in fairness, I followed what many have been doing for centuries. Guided by the old cliches ~ “Keep busy” “Give it time and all will be ok.”

Doing everything then, that I now advise others NOT to DO.

Dan’s passing was meant to be my wake-up call. Though as I chose to stay in a ground-hog day daze, life had to send me another wake-up call.

This came 15 months later when my company was merging with another. They told me early on that I would not be the CFO of the new company. Though I would be doing all that I’m doing now plus more.

Which was fine with me until my contract highlighted that the new salary package was 2/3rds of my current salary.

I was angry. How dare they treat me like this. How dare they disrespect me like this. Only a year ago the CEO had written an email stating how much they valued me, my work and that I was the oracle of the company.

Boy was I angry. Really angry for about 48 hours.

That was when I started to awaken from my groundhog day daze. Realising that Dan had passed. Nothing happened.

Wow, money had kept me there. Yet, I’d been wasting most of it, on my unhealthy habits just to get through the day. From there it was easy to take redundancy.

My former boss gave me the greatest ~ the clarity to realise that I was not living and loving my life. I was merely surviving.

Then I started on my journey to becoming my own best friend.

The People Profits Connection.

Treating your employees as your greatest asset, instead of a replaceable spare part, that is the key to making the best possible product, offering the best possible customer experience and building the strongest possible company.

The People Profits Connection brings my two greatest loves together. As a CFO and senior manager for 25+ years. I understood the mechanics to profits and life is an infinite journey from Love to Loss and then hopefully back to Love.

Most of us know how to do the Love part. We thrive when life is good and we are loving life.

Though when Loss comes to visit, we get stuck. As most of us haven’t been taught how to do loss.

We don’t want to think about it. We don’t know what to do or say. We freeze. We follow the age old advise which lead us all to the 5-stages of grief. Constantly comparing where we may be.

Not realising that the research was done, showing us how people act, not that this is the way to act.

A bit of a catch-22 scenario!

Loss is so much more than death. There are over 40 different loss events that can affect all of our lives. Which means that all of us will have multiple major losses throughout our lives.

It could be a:

  • death of a loved one,
  • a divorce/separation,
  • job loss, your health,
  • wealth and
  • your pets.

Or some of the lesser-known ones, that many experienced in the 2020 pandemic:

  • Loss of freedom.
  • Loss of Choice.
  • Loss of Status.
  • Change in work conditions.
  • Change in social activities.
  • Recreational activities.

When you start to look at this equation:

40+ loss events plus we will all have multiple losses  plus  most of us don’t know how to easily move beyond loss,

You start to see WHY 70% or 3.6billion people worldwide are disengaged in the workplace.

Then add that we have got great at avoiding what is happening in our life. Just look around at the trillion $ industries of alcohol, pharmaceuticals and at the suicide rate, which has grown to such huge proportions.

Here is the dots, connected.

  • People are suffering all of these multiple loss events.
  • Many times, they do not even realise that the loss that has just happened is a grief causing incident.
  • They just carry on.
  • Wondering what is wrong with them.
  • Wondering why no-one understands why they feel the way that they do.
  • So, they end up suffering in silence and
  • Deep diving into AVOIDANCE.

Now repeat this scenario for every employee in the workplace, you may start to wonder why only 70% of the workplace disengaged?

This is WHY the People Profits Connection is so important.

Your people and your profits are connected. You treat your people as your greatest asset, they will return profits that will far exceed any of your previous forecasts.

Give me your worst employee and watch them become, one of your best. Then imagine what will happen when you give me your current best employee.

The people profits connection is a three-step process:

The first step is the You Factor

This is where we deep dive into YOU. All of you. Every area of your life. Where you have been. Where you are now and where you would like to be.

What are your loves? What are your losses? What are your avoidance tactics?

Yes we all have them. And most of will deny they are AVOIDANCE tactics.

From there we move onto the: Know Like and Trust Factor

This is not a marketing strategy. This is where employees and employers get to really know each other. When done properly leads  to Like and Trust.

Imagine your workplace when this happens. When everyone has each other’s backs. No longer needing to look over your shoulder. Knowing that you and your work is respected. Knowing that you can bring your innovative and creative ideas to the table, as everyone is willing to listen.

And no-one will steal them as their own!

How much would that enhance your people, production and profits?

The third Step is The Resilience Factor

This provides a detailed guideline of concepts, strategies, habits to make a person more resilient. Life is going to throw you curve balls. There are over after all 40+ loss events.

Though when you have a detailed guideline on what to do. How to face it head on without going into avoidance, you will not be down for long.

Very quickly you’ll be back to living and loving your life again.

Imagine your workplace when all of your employees embrace the People Profits Connection concepts?

In conclusion

I began this article with stating that the first step in solving any problem is recognising you have one.

I’ll end it by sharing that the People Profits Connection, solves many problems.

  • Firstly, how one and all can easily get back to Love again after any kind of loss
  • Next, how to engage your employees. How to get them to rock up each and everyday ready to assist you in creating the best possible products, offer the best ever customer experience all whilst building the strongest company.

Imagine the world we will all create when all people and companies embrace these concepts. A world where everyone:

  • Knows, who they are, where they are going.
  • Understand how to know, like and trust others
  • Is resilient, no matter what life decides to throw their way.

That is a world, I look forward to living in.

How about you?