By Chris Sheppardson, CEO at EO Innovates (www.epinnovates.com)
The fact is, work without passion and a sense of fun creates a level of unease amongst leaders and their workforces. In turn, this apprehension can manifest and lead to more serious personal issues such as anxiety, stress and depression. The knock-on effect is a demotivated, unproductive and unhappy team. Too many young people today are working in environments that pile on the pressure, patronise, don’t encourage risk or failure and worst of all, restrict individual freedom of voice.
Successful entrepreneurs often speak about challenge, about a love of their work and about having the freedom to have a voice, make their own choices and decisions. Yet many workplaces do not adopt the same approach when leading teams. Process, systems and compliance takes over, restricts freedom of voice and makes any kind of decision making impossible.
Day to day becomes a negative battle
Record numbers of people are seeking to leave their corporate jobs and to join the gig economy because the pressure of working life is simply too much. If one cannot find a voice in their work then the day to day becomes a negative battle that is both draining and miserable. We talk so much today about the issues around mental illness and the lack of productivity amongst workforces today but the argument is, can part of this be resolved by freeing people up to have a voice in their work, to build relationships with others and to enjoy what they do with real passion?
From people who are confined to their office or desk, to people who are told not to meet clients, senior professionals who talk about processes and bottom line profits in a robotic way which makes the prospect of friendly customer service a distant memory. Before you know it you have a team of people counting down the days to their retirement when they are finally free from this stifling environment.
But how can we inspire people to have a voice at work? It can be quite simple. People love meeting people; people love being inspired by others, they love people who care about them. The same applies to the workplace, yet we seen to treat life and work as two separate entities even though they are so closely intertwined on many levels.
Taking a risk can pay off
I’ve been inspired by many people over the years and this message of freeing up more voices really seems to resonate with many business innovators today. A good example more recently, is the case of two successful young entrepreneurs (identical twins in fact) – Raissa and Joyce de Haaswho are the founders of Double Dutch Drinks (a flavoured tonic water manufacturer) and challenger to Fever Tree and Tuk Tuk Chai brands. Both are in their mid-twenties and talk often about their love for a challenge and how they realised that working in an environment with a passionate intent, just didn’t free them up and didn’t give them the voice they craved. So they took a risk, made a change and it paid off – they are now operating globally.
The point is more and more people at a younger age are starting to realise that not having a voice is affecting not only how they operate at work but also how they feel day to day and the impact this has on their future lives. People stand at the heart of businesses and the truth is, there is a simple but practical need to restore more balance to people’s lives today. Bringing people together facilitates greater freedom of voice too, you will often notice how people are more inclined to voice their opinions and speak freely if they are surrounded by others that are inclined to do the same.
People stand at the heart of business
Freeing up more voices can be extremely powerful in business because it helps to build and nurture cultures as well as trust between leadership and those who will deliver service levels to clients. People create respect and dynamic in a business and if we are serious about creating a positive work environment, people absolutely need to be encouraged to have a voice and live life with passion – those that do, will surely be the leaders of tomorrow?
About EPinnovates (www.epinnovates.com)
A shop window for entrepreneurial innovation, EPinnovates has been created to showcase exciting innovations, new products, services, concepts and businesses forlarger companies to discover and explore. Designed to recognise and support the innovation that entrepreneurs and smaller businesses bring to the future economy, EPinnovates tells stories about entrepreneurs; each has a different tale, adventure and overcomes diverse obstacles, but all are looking to improve business and create value. Accessing these ideas and innovations can be difficult forbusinesses to truly discover so EPinnovates acts to bridge that gap and help to engineer the future for the better byintroducinglarger companies to entrepreneurs through the principles of trust, community and relationships.