I was looking around to see what the predictions and trends in comms were for 2018 and it struck me was all the focus was out into the market. Bravo, we all know that customer centricity is critical for brands and businesses to be successful. But what if we create amazing products and services designed around a deep and committed approach to meeting customer needs and wants but YOUR people are disengaged or even depressed, going about their day to day activities like lemmings? Well, the cost is huge of course, not only to your business but to us all as a society.
I read an article in the Guardian recently that said 1 in 11 people is on anti-depression medication, yet despite the thousands and in fact millions of people taking something to lift their serotonin levels just to help them get through each day, many remain depressed. So what’s going on? Well some people have been looking at this phenomenon and argue that changes, including those in our workplaces, are contributing to the decline in people’s sense of purpose and meaning. This is exacerbated when people feel they lack control in their working lives. The ultimate result is employees who feel disconnected and lonely, powerful precursors to depression.
I’m not an organisational psychologist however these findings resonated with me. It’s easy to blame much of the disconnection so many people feel on social media or a society consumed with getting the latest ‘thing’, but what responsibility do organisations and employers have to understand our basic human need for purpose, engagement and a sense of belonging? As a leader of a small business it’s made me stop and think. I’d be interested in other people’s view. And if you’re interested check out the article from the Guardian.