Times are changing, people are changing…

An analysis of over 6500 results of Czech employees in 2008 – 2012, average age 36, has shown a qualitative change in their attitudes. During the years of the medially communicated “economically crisis” there has been one’s own benefit – personal benefit on the forefront of Czech employees’ interests.

People only do what they must

The analysis shows that the employees’ desire to engage themselves in work, which does not bring them personal benefit, has been decreasing year after year. Presently you will find a few collectives where people spend evenings or even weekends enthusiastically planning and dealing with future professional goals or discussing common values. On the other hand there is an increase of employees who wonder whether working overtime or engaging themselves more will benefit them.

For the last five years personal needs of employees and their “personal values” have been the focus of attention. People want to feel meaningful and this makes them more sensitive to being just a number on a list of human resources fulfilling business goals. If people fail to find value and reward at work, they will quite naturally look for other places to fulfil these needs. At work they will only do what is necessary in order not to lose their jobs.

Internal “competitiveness” increases

Another outcome of analysis is the fact that individual solutions have begun to outnumber those based on common values. The result is an increase of personal conflict and a necessity of negotiating one’s “own conditions” without respecting common goals or values of the organization. Several teams may look like groups of individuals working at the same place who do things on their own and have replaced cooperation with competition. People can cooperate only if it is more advantageous than doing things individually. Cooperation differs from ambition in that it is not a natural model of behaviour and it needs to be taught.

Common values are a must

Employees will be engaged for a long time only if they find an aspect of their job that is “their own”. This sense of responsibility for their work and inner reward resulting from it increases their motivation.

In order for people to work together must be continuously communicate common goals and ways in which they are to be met. Shared values within a team create a framework of behaviour and decision-making for employees. These values naturally cultivate individualized behaviour of people without any necessity of supervision. Participating in these values also supports one’s relationship with and respect for the company and the team.

The new managerial role

Due to these qualitative changes in employees’ values, known ways of people management are ineffective. The role of a modern manager is moving more into the role of creator and communicator of common values, rather than simply someone who distributes and controls tasks.

Dr. Filip Brodan
Managing Director
Engage Hill