As I read them it appears that the authors are calling for dramatic change in our workplace culture which suggests to me that the Corporate Executive mantra that “Employees are our greatest asset” is wearing thin. In fact, studies from the Gallup organization reveal that only 30% of US workers are “engaged at work (with similar gloomy statistics in other parts of the world).
I hope that these stats are not representative of the EHS profession but I fear they may be.
The book “12: The Elements of Great Managing” offers a wonderful reminder of the traits of a great workplace:
- I know what’s expected of me at work
- I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right.
- At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.
- In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work.
- My supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person.
- There is someone at work who encourages my development.
- At work my opinions seem to count.
- The mission or purpose of my company makes me feel my job is important.
- My associates or fellow employees are committed to doing quality work.
- I have a best friend at work.
- In the last six months, someone at work has talked to me about my progress.
- This last year, I have had opportunities to learn and grow at work.
The creation of great workplaces is essential to attract and retain the EHS talent we need. If we get this workplace culture right numerous benefits emerge: employee satisfaction, employee retention, superior safety performance to name a few.
Are these traits dominant in your workplace? If not, why not? What’s holding us back? What’s our message for “leaders”? What should “followers” be doing? We have a professional legacy for excellence to safeguard and creating a workplace culture that fully utilizes the talents of all people seems to me to be a key success indicator. Do you agree with me that we should be concerned about this greater lack of employee engagement and satisfaction and how it might be impacting the EHS profession?