In a keynote talk at Inspirefest 2016, Monica Parker delivered her four Cs for creating a motivated workforce. It sounds simple, but it’s not.
Cause, control, contemplation and community. These are the magic words Monica Parker, founder of Hatch Analytics, revealed to the Inspirefest audience in Dublin.
“I’m based in London. There’s a lot of change, both existential and political, in London at the moment,” said Parker, encouraging businesses to embrace change as, in truth, change is often beyond our control.
The challenge for companies operating in both testing and changing times is an insistent focus on return-on-investment – “the bottom line, the hard metrics”, as Parker called it.
Return of engagement
“But I’m going to encourage everyone today to start a soft revolution. The power of soft numbers, of soft metrics. I want us to look at the ROE – return of engagement – within businesses.”
Cause, control, contemplation and community. The theme quickly emerged.
Cause: Parker noted that 94pc of 40,000 people surveyed by Hatch said that the more meaning their job has, the more likely they are to be engaged in it.
“That is where the richness of engagement is,” she said.
Control: Referencing a study by Cornell University, Parker described two teams in a workplace, one of which was under strict control from above, the other given its own autonomous control and freedom to decide for themselves.
At the end of the project, the latter performed at four-times the speed of the former. Control, in the freedom to release it on occasion, proved key.
Take some time
Contemplation: “Stress-related illness is the health epidemic of the 21st century,” said Parker. If people have no quiet time, with their only moments of solitude and switching-off coming in the shower or on the toilet, “that’s madness.”
Community: Claiming a rise in incidents of heart disease and heart attacks from loneliness, Parker noted the growing trend of living alone, and how this should be a worry.
“The number of people living alone has risen 80pc in the last 15 years. In UK, by 2030, nearly 50pc of people will be declared ‘living alone’,” she said.
Living alone, travelling to work alone, sitting in a co-location, open-plan office and emailing the person beside you, not engaging in face-to-face interactions – all of these add up to a lack of community.
“Co-location doth not a community make,” she said. “Relationships with colleagues is a primary indicator for engagement. If you have a best work friend, you will stay in the job.”
Inspirefest is Silicon Republic’s international event connecting sci-tech professionals passionate about the future of STEM.
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