Are you turning a blind eye on your workers?

by External21 Mar 2013

Alexandra Pollard writes that in modern workplaces there is not a lot for workers to get enthused about much less fulfilled, satisfied or excited by. How can this be turned around?

How often have you heard an executive or CEO tout "our people are our greatest asset"? A dozen or more I wager.

And yet how many employees have you heard say "management just don't care about me. I'm just a number. I get no respect"? Dozens? Hundreds?

How is that possible? How can it be that two sides of the same coin can have such different viewpoints, and more importantly, what can be done to bridge the gap?

Truth be told, in many modern workplaces there is really not a whole lot for workers to get enthused about much less fulfilled, satisfied or excited by.

Many employees are correct when they complain that management don't listen to them, don't mentor, stretch or challenge them. Instead they feel like children, always being told what to do, provided with a list of demands and rules and being expected to work longer and longer hours without relative remuneration.

In fact, many good workers find themselves punished with more work which they sustain although overwhelmed year in and year out until the company eventually gives a promotion to a new generation of starters over the top of them.

As a result employees are left gutted, feeling used and worthless. This is the aftermath of the rapid expansion of business during the industrial revolution. This era of seeing people and using them of widgets is now over. No longer can you turn a blind eye and treat your people as a means to an end.

In order to attract and retain key staff, companies now must be more participative and encourage the development of Expander Leaders (more about Expander Leaders in our new book soon to be released).

Expander leaders produce what is called a boomerang effect. They know that what they put out will get returned to them over and over and over again. They are not afraid to tap into their own emotions and those of the people around them. Their people feel alive and motivated. Participative, democratic, expander cultures are what is required and despite the ability to succeed in the past while turning a blind eye to this, in future those companies that ignore either will suffer greatly.

How can you create a culture that attracts and retains great people? What changes do you need to make to shift from the industrial age thinking to Expander Leader thinking?

It's time.

About the author

Alexandra Pollard is CEO, UQ Power. Visit