What is the true cost of an inefficient work culture?

Corporate Sustainability is a new culture in the business world where companies act to reduce their carbon footprint on the environment. They find ways to use less energy and resources and measure this within their workplace. This is all making a difference to our planet and many companies are now more energy efficient because of it?

However if you look at the greatest inefficiency in a business, debatedly it is within the culture of the business itself. Gallup surveys in 2007 show that only 21% of staff globally are fully engaged when at work. In Europe alone the estimated cost of this was between 247-260 billion euros annually. How much energy and resources would be saved if a greater percentage of the staff within the company were fully engaged, more productive and efficient? How much more sustainable would the company be? What effect would this have on the environment?

We can make a difference by being aware about sustainability and making choices that limit our effect on the environment. However as human beings we have habitual behaviours that are wired into us. These habits are created by our thoughts and feelings, our beliefs and values and ultimately our identity. I call this the inner game and it is the inner game that determines the results that we get in our outer game of life, career, sport, health…you name it!

The results you get in your life are a mirror reflection of your inner game, or beliefs!”

For example you send one of your Sales team to a Sales training to learn selling techniques and become a better sales person. However if she has negative beliefs like ”Selling is tough” or she doesn’t value picking up the phone to connect with her clients, will she get the best out of her new skills? Will the company get a good ROI (return on investment) from the Sales training?

To change your behaviours and live more sustainably, or become more efficient in your workplace you need to change yourself from the inside out. This is a challenge for leaders and individuals as what is driving them is mostly unconscious and out of their awareness. So how do we create change?

Following are two exercises that you can use to support yourself, your staff or teams in becoming more efficient and productive in the work place, helping the company to be more sustainable and effective.

  1. Meaning equals performance – the more meaningful or ”full of meaning” a role or your career is for you the better you will perform. ”Its the why that drives the will!”
  • Why are you working for your company, or yourself? Why else? Find the highest why.
  • How are you making a difference through your career or role?
  • What do you enjoy most about your work?
  • What do you want to achieve in 2011, in the next 5 years?
  • If you had all the time and money in the world what would you do?
  1. Finding your Values – your values govern all your behaviour and influence your level of motivation. They are what is important to you in any given context, and what is important to you influences how you spend your time.
  • Write down at least 8 things that are important to you in the context of your career.
  • Rank them 1 being the most important to the least important.
  • Next to each value write down what that value means to you.
  • Take responsibility to make sure that your values are being fulfilled in your career.
  • How can you make sure that you are getting what is important to you in your career?

To create a culture of sustainablility in the workplace by improving job satisfaction and meaningfulness is one of the most important things you can do to increase your bottom line, reduce costs and your companies carbon footprint. It boosts the immune system of your business and supports it in operating at peak health.