Hostile and threatening workplaces on the rise

By Dr Lindsay McMillan

A “disturbingly high” number of workers in the US have reported working in hostile or threatening workplaces – part of a global trend of distressed workers that has the experts worried.

Almost one in five Americans say their workplaces are hostile or threatening, according to a study co-authored by Harvard Medical School of 3,066 workers. 

Unfortunately, the US findings are largely consistent with the situation in Australia: half of Australian workers have experienced one or more serious incidences of conflict or negative impacts at work including verbal abuse or bullying.

It is no wonder then that 14 per cent of Australian workers experienced a mental or physical decline as a direct result of their work, and almost one in three have high stress levels often or always.

We need to take workplace culture more seriously. To improve Australia’s standing in the workplace stakes, a renewed focus on workplace relationships was urgently needed.

Hostility can be external, and customer facing workers bear much of that burden, but, internal hostility and a threatening culture is bred when employees do not work together.

This is typical in highly competitive and highly punitive workplace cultures and it is up to leadership to change the nature of workplace relationships by example.

Something as simple as showing employees their development options can make a big difference to employees because it shows that you are thinking about their long-term prospects.

Our research shows that the four principles to keep workplace relationships healthy are engagement, development, inclusion and life enhancement.

Microchips for work, the ultimate micromanagement?

By Dr Lindsay McMillan

Die-hard tech enthusiasts were once the only people who would consider getting a microchip implant, but a new report says more people might consider getting one – for work.

An international PwC survey of 10,000 respondents has found 70 per cent of people would consider treatments to enhance their brains or bodies, all in the pursuit of greater work performance.

Microchipping employees for greater work performance would be the ultimate micromanagement with your employer able to have a digital record of all your movements. 

It is vitally important that workers don’t feel pressured to adopt drastic and invasive measures such as microchipping.

Our research tells us that workers are already feeling technology-related stress and we should be developing strategies in the workplace to combat this, not exacerbate it.

54 per cent of millennials say they are experiencing technology-related stress; workers are unable to switch off because they think being “on call” is what makes them valuable.

The 2016 study of over 1,000 Australian workers by Reventure also found 46 per cent already feel technology makes them feel “always on” and unable to completely shut-off from work.

If emails after work are causing Australian workers such stress, you can imagine the impact of invasive measures such as microchipping. 

Despite this, one expert from PwC said microchips and implants that improve work efficiency could be much more acceptable practice in ten or fifteen years.

Microchips are a part of a global trend; earlier this year Swedish company Epicenter announced plans to implant 150 workers with microchips to monitor work hours.

Implanted technology would be much more intrusive to the private lives of employees and warned against unhealthy workplace practices.

Work-life balance is vitally important and all Australians should get a chance to be completely away from work. We need to address this with a concerted response from employers and industry to change the culture - or it will only get worse.

AI presents opportunities for workers, if we start planning now

By Dr Lindsay McMillan

The inevitable rise of AI and further automation presents a range of challenges for Australian workers, both for their job security and how they conduct their work.

But, in amongst the very real concerns, are opportunities for employers and employees.

With the right strategies in place, employees can actually capitalise on the coming AI revolution.

AI relies on harnessing data and putting it to use to carry out predictable and often repetitive tasks.

The key for employees and employers when confronting the impact of AI on job security and the nature of work is empowering employees with something AI and robotics cannot achieve, and that is a sense of purpose at work.

A sense of purpose, means employees are not just carrying out passive, repetitive tasks that could be done by a machine, but actually given the authority to use their judgement and make a difference.

Research as part of the a future that works campaign found Australian workers are already feeling the impact of technology; 54 per cent of millennials experience technology-related stress and 46 per cent say technology makes them feel “always on”.

As has been recently argued by the Harvard Business Review, the rise of AI will compliment human judgement. It’s the employers’ role to facilitate this in the workplace by empowering employees and giving them purpose and meaning at work.

Workers who have purpose in their work and can exercise their judgement, rather than just conducting passive tasks, will be better placed when the AI revolution takes off.

An eye into AI (and automation)

By Dr Lindsay McMillan

Improvements in robotics and automation could potentially change the work landscape, this time for bricklayers and miners.

Fastbrick Robotics, has built a robot that lays bricks at twenty-five times the speed of a human and last week secured significant investment from Caterpillar for their venture. If it has successful up-take in the industry, this brick-laying robot could put workers out of a job that was once considered “safe as houses”.

In the mining industry, which has been declining since 2013 from its significant boom, automation has been initially “disorienting”. That is how the Australian Head of BHP Operations described it, after seeing a 200-300 tonne truck driving around without a driver. Fortescue Metals has driverless trucks across most of its operations.

Yes, bricklaying and mining operations are manual work, which is theoretically easier to automate, but office workers should be concerned too. More jobs once considered “safe” are predicted to turn into redundancies thanks to automation; jobs like record keeping and repetitive customer service. Anything repetitive is easier to codify for accurate and cheap implementation by technology.

The CSIRO’s report Tomorrow’s Digitally Enabled Workforce found 44 per cent of Australian jobs are “potentially at high risk of computerisation and automation” whilst the Productivity Commission’s report into Digital Disruption found improvements in sensors and machine learning will broaden the range of capabilities, and therefore jobs, that robots can take over. Sensors can be found in mass production lines and machine learning in smart phones are set to make virtual assistants like Siri even smarter.

The fact is most of us are already touched by AI and automation in some way. We often feel frustrated with the automated voice recognition systems used by our insurance companies or our government departments, because many of us remember how it used to be – a person on the other line who could understand a complex problem.

The big question is: what do we do about it from a workplace perspective?

As of yet, there is no reality where we are without human work. The fact is, people are going to be working with technology and not against it.

My own research found Australian workers are already feeling the impact of technology; 54 per cent of millennials experience technology-related stress and 46 per cent say technology makes them feel “always on”.

For employees facing technology stress, it is increasingly important to demonstrate purpose and meaning in their role and follow the core Healthy Workplace Principles: engagement, development, inclusion and life enhancement as outlined in Renewing Australian Workplaces. This will help employees understand why they are important and improves the vital (human) relationships in the workplace.

Yes, some jobs will be automated and taken over which is an overwhelming transition for a workplace. It is important organisations recognise change in their industry and adapt to survive.

But there is a brighter side – big data analysts, complex decision support analysts, remote controlled vehicle operators and online chaperones will be among the new titles we can expect in the near future.

It’s all part of the changing world of work.

How to get the best of your employees and develop a healthier workplace

By Dr Lindsay McMillan

It’s time to get rid of KPIs and direct reports, and develop more meaningful indicators to measure success in the workplace.

Developing job landscapes, which outline the goals of an employee and how they interact with the goals of colleagues is a more beneficial approach than the standard ‘list’ of tasks and performance measures.

According Reventure’s recent reports Delivering Purpose and Meaning and Renewing Australian Workplaces, job landscapes build employees' purpose and meaning at work, resulting in improved relationships and engagement.

Purpose and meaning are becoming non-negotiable across workplaces – in fact, our research found 77 per cent of millennials are seeking purpose and meaning in their work.  

Around the middle of the year, organisations can tend to find there is a high level of attrition by their employees, and this is a great opportunity for organisations to re-focus on employees, to make sure they are attracting and retaining the best talent.

To help employees feel purpose and meaning at work, leaders must also be able to identify and then demonstrate how individual roles align with organisational goals, the report says.

This means building a relationship and fostering an understanding of how the employee’s personal attributes such as their interests, abilities and values uniquely equip them to do their work well.

Effective work relationships contribute largely to the success of a workplace - 300,000 hours of workplace counselling by Converge International found relationship breakdowns at work was the number one reason employees seek counselling.

There will be serious issues for workplaces if employers don’t act.

Only when you foster healthy and positive relationships can organisations experience higher retention and productivity, and lower instances of excessive stress and greater job satisfaction.

Five HR Solutions Workplaces Will Need This Financial Year

By Dr Lindsay McMillan

As another financial year ends, workplaces around the nation have taken stock, organised their accounts and started planning for the financial year ahead.

Organisations around the nation have renewed their property leases, their insurance policies and countless contracts with vendors – but what about renewing your workplace?

As financial planning and reporting takes centre stage, Australian workplaces often overlook reviewing and refreshing their workplace practices and culture.

As part of our national campaign a future that works, Reventure has devised five strategies that genuinely address the workplace challenges organisations will face this financial year.

1.       Talk in terms of purpose not results – a common pitfall among organisations is to solely motivate workers with financial outcomes or competition. With our research finding that the next generation is increasingly looking for purpose at work, leaders will need to actively foster an understanding of how an employee’s personal attributes such as their abilities and values uniquely equip them to do their work well.

2.       Articulate a narrative – while understanding what drives your employees, make sure your organisation has a purpose to which employees can align themselves to. This doesn’t have to be a struggling rags-to-riches organisational story, but simply what makes your organisation and your workplace different.

3.       Goals are better than roles – job descriptions are over, it is time for job landscapes. Instead of a list of KPIs and direct reports, job landscapes outlines a list of end goals assigned to an employee and the way in which these goals interconnect and relate to the goals of others. This promotes a more connected and understanding workplace culture.

4.       Follow the leader – in this rapidly changing work landscape, business leaders and managers often set and model the workplace culture. Organisations must ensure they equip this executive level with the soft skills of transformational leadership in which leaders work with employees to identify needed change, create a vision forward and execute the change. 

5.       Resurrect creativity – in a bid to complete work efficiently, creativity and innovation can often take a backseat. Carefully select teams for projects to ensure workers collaborate and learn from others with different skills sets or encourage workplace huddles which allows for short bursts of creative internal input to solve problems.

These five HR solutions have been comprised from our two recent research pieces, Delivering Purpose and Meaning and Renewing Australian Workplaces, which takes a closer look at 2017 workplaces.

Workers are the most valuable asset of any workplace and as such, the financial year should also mark a time when leaders take a closer look at their workplaces and renew them for next year.

Increasing productivity is no longer viewed in archaic terms such as longer working hours but how the workplace can effectively understand and harness employee’s individual talents.

Each year, the bottom line is the focus of reporting and the measurement of success – leaving little time for visionary thinking or employee development which can also genuinely grow the organisation.

Reventure’s reports can be accessed at http://www.afuturethatworks.org.au/reports/.

Relationships are the key to workplace success

By Dr Lindsay McMillan

An analysis of more than 300,000 hours of workplace counselling sessions undertaken by our workplace assistance arm Converge International, has shown the leading reason employees seek counselling is a breakdown in relationships at work and in the home.

Couple this with the seismic social shifts in Australian workplaces, including the role of technology and the rise in part-time work, and it is clear that a greater focus on relationships at work is needed.

As a result, our a future that works campaign has released a new report, Renewing Australian Workplaces, highlighting what employers can do to improve relationships in the workplace.

The report highlights an issue that is not getting enough attention and is often taken for granted – our relationships at work.

Relationships are key in our personal life, but the research behind our latest report has shown that Australian workers are taking their workplace relationships for granted.

This is a massive issue, because relationships are central to how people do their jobs, how people develop and how you can achieve sustainable workplace performance.

This report posits four Healthy Workplace Principles that help workplaces create healthy relationship frameworks: inclusion, development, engagement and life enhancement.

These are more than techniques, they provide workplaces with the structure to develop a relational culture, which will enhance productivity and improve worker wellbeing.

This report details practical ways these principles can be implemented and is a must for all Australian workplaces.

The report is a wake-up call for all workers and employers in all industries, even suggesting our political leaders would benefit from focussing on improving relationships.

This is a call to action for both employers and employees: a focus on relationships is crucial to improve workplace outcomes, and I am talking about all workplaces.

We constantly see our political leaders abandon or refuse to develop relationships, either across the aisle or amongst business and community leaders, in favour of political expedience.

But if they focussed more on building relationships I think they would get better policy outcomes and more public support.

The four Healthy Workplace Principles which are key to improving workplace relationships are:

·       Inclusion – Showing a genuine interest in the people around you at work

·       Development – Creating a culture of creativity, where mistakes are allowed

·       Engagement – Developing a listening culture

·       Life enhancement – Creating an environment where positive, and constructive feedback is normal

Renewing Australian Workplaces can be downloaded at http://www.afuturethatworks.org.au/reports/

Millennials are after their very own meaning maker

By Dr Lindsay McMillan

Ever left wondering after a day’s work, whether you’ve made a difference? You may be in need of a meaning maker.

No, it’s not the slickest tech gadget or latest app that millennials are desperate to have, meaning makers are people who help young workers navigate work life and their life purpose.

This isn’t a new fad, but something that workers, especially millennials are looking for – someone to help make sense of work and life.

As part our research on purpose and meaning in the workplace, we found 77 per cent of millennials are looking for purpose and meaning in their employment.

Purpose and meaning are foundational qualities in a business and without them, organisations can suffer from high employee turn-over, disengagement and lost productivity.

Disengagement costs the Australian economy up to $53 billion, so it’s in the interest of businesses that employees have purposeful and meaningful work – this is why meaning makers are important.

Mentoring is an important part of career development however; young people are looking for more than sound advice over coffee.

Meaning makers are more than just mentors, they are in the workplace and they are the people who can say ‘This is why we exist as an organisation and this is why it matters’.

A lot of people gain valuable knowledge and advice from a good mentor, but it’s not your mentor’s role to then say, ‘Okay, how does that fit into your life goals and your personal mission?’

They can be your colleague or your supervisor, the point it that young people want to open up about the hard stuff including how their work is contributing or enhancing their life.

A meaning maker is not about coddling or spoon-feeding employees but providing context about how their work fits into their wider life purpose.

This is high level leadership and if an organisation is successful in providing this for their employees, it will be a hard job to tempt those employees away to another company.

a future that works’ six steps to build a culture of Purpose and Meaning are:

1.                   Foster Employee Participation and Inclusion

A culture of respect and valuing employees can be generated and sustained by the simple act of inclusion.

2.                   Communicate the Alignment between Individual Roles and Organisational Goals

Leaders need to be able to identify and articulate the way in which an individual employee’s role contributes to the achievement of the common purpose.

3.                   Encourage Autonomy and Active Engagement

After there has been a clear identification and articulation of purpose, workers should be afforded a high degree of autonomy to carry out their role and make an active decision to work towards this vision.

4.                   Provide Resources and Information

To increase autonomy, employees should have all the information and resources they require to effectively do their job.

5.                   Serve a Greater Purpose

While an altruistic outcome is not a requirement for developing meaningfulness, this is a recommended addition to help maximise the update of purpose among workers.

6.                   Reinforcing Engagement

Actively implementing these strategies will result in higher levels of engagement, and may be reinforced through incentivisation that is not only linked to financial outcomes, but measures of application and alignment. This can be achieved through career construction and job crafting.

To read the report, Delivering Purpose and Meaning click here.

Miserable at work? Take a leaf from Zuckerberg’s book

By Dr Lindsay McMillan

Many think it’s a lofty ambition, but Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is adamant that purpose in the workplace is what it takes to create a happy and healthy life.

Our research backs up Zuckerberg’s recent speech to Harvard graduates extolling the virtues of achieving purpose and meaning at work.

Our report found that in the Australian context, workers were looking for work that has greater meaning and that fits into their wider life goals - 72 per cent of Australians are looking for purpose and meaning in their work and almost 50 per cent are looking to change jobs in the next 12 months.

The message was echoed in Zuckerberg’s speech, who said that purpose creates true happiness and that everyone was entitled to a sense that they have a role at work.

This is a call that should be heeded by Australian leaders who want to create engaged, productive and healthy workplaces.

Purpose is what makes our lives feel worth it – and when 35 to 40 hours of our weeks are spent at work, it is not worth doing a job that has no point or no purpose.  

What Mark Zuckerberg is doing, is encouraging millennials to create opportunities that are meaningful for their employees when they reach the top.

That is a great thing to encourage for the future, but we need to get leaders of today sitting up and listening: employees need to have a purpose or they will leave. 

To attract and retain employees over the long haul, there needs to be a process for business leaders to follow, and that’s what our report provides.

Organisations can start building a culture of purpose and meaning through our six-steps which lead to higher engagement, productivity and satisfaction.

It is great to hear from influential, international leaders about the importance of purpose – let’s hear it from the leaders of Australian businesses too.

To read the report, Delivering Purpose and Meaning click here.

Time for Australia to learn a French lesson and embrace the right to disconnect

By Dr Lindsay McMillan

Australian workers should be given the right to switch off from emails outside of working hours to combat technology-related stress.

Policy-makers, employers and unions must recognise the negative impact that technology-related stress is having on employees, and take steps to improve the work-life balance.

According to my research of more than 1,000 employees last year, almost half of employees agreed that technology brings with it the feeling of being ‘always on’.

One possible solution to this is embracing recent reforms introduced in France, which gives employees the right to disconnect from emails outside of work hours.

The French legislation, dubbed the Right to Disconnect, came into effect on January 1, requiring companies with 50 or more employees to negotiate new out-of-office email guidelines with staff.

Firms now have a duty to regulate the use of emails to ensure employees get a break from the office.

The French solution follows moves made by a number of big companies to let employees completely switch off, with Volkswagen turning off their email servers after work.

As well as legislative or internal policy change, it is vital for employers to buy into this change, and improve the culture of workplaces.

Employers must make their expectations explicit to their employees, and recognise that having a stressed and tired workforce does not benefit them in the long run.

The sooner we move away from the old-fashioned idea that you work until you drop, the better, and it is one of the reasons I have kick-started the a future that works campaign.

The campaign is all about improving workplaces for employees by providing research and strategies that actively tackle the challenges facing the workplaces of 2017.

And the first step workplaces could take to begin 2017 is learn this valuable French lesson.

Four day work week - is it a good idea?

By Dr Lindsay McMillan

On face value, a four-day work week seems like the answer to Australia’s work/life balance struggle, but in practice it is more a passing fad than a sustainable solution.

A four-day work week may allow workers another day for family and ‘living’, but it does nothing to address the bigger issues occurring when workers are at work.  

Our research of 1,000 Australian employees revealed that 46 per cent feel like they can’t turn work off anymore, whether they were in the office or not, so a four-day work week may not change much for these workers.

While the debate around the four-day work week signals Australia is at least beginning to acknowledge the important role workplace wellbeing plays, it does not achieve genuine change.

In order to achieve this we need to take a holistic approach to our workplaces to improve outcomes for workers, management and the organisation.

Employees need to take a closer look at the culture and relationships within workplaces which are closely linked to inclusion, development, engagement and life enhancement – four principles that are essential to maintain a healthy workplace.

We need to respond to the big challenges innovatively and proactively and as part of a broader discussion that aims to deliver productive and purposeful workplaces.

It is our aim, through the a future that works campaign, to ignite a robust debate about changing entrenched work practices and improving outcomes for Australian workers. This is achieved through a comprehensive reform process, rather than partial measures like a four-day work week. 

To read the report, Delivering Purpose and Meaning click here.

Business leaders tell-all: Ten tips to be the next Mark Zuckerberg or Steve Jobs

By Dr Lindsay McMillan

From relinquishing total control and delegating to others, to being open to changed work practices, the CEO tell-all is part of our national workplace campaign a future that works.

We have put together a list of the top ten pointers for people wanting to become the next big business leader and provide instructive views into what it takes to be a successful CEO from interviewing 50 of Australia’s big bosses.

This research reveals what it takes to be the next Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg. 

CEOs from around the country have said that the days of hierarchical, dictatorial workplace are over and leaders must lead through engagement, partnerships and compromise.

Overall the report tells us that CEOs are cautiously optimistic about what the future holds, but see challenges in the rapid rate of change and massive upheaval technology is creating.

This is a unique insight into the minds of business leaders and provides some interesting food for thought for the business community.”

And here are the ten pointers for the CEO of the future:

1.       Model the change they want to see occur in future workplaces.

2.       Recognise the authority and seize it to make even small changes that impact on ourselves as CEOs but also their workplaces and employees, and the industry in which they specialise.

3.       Talk about how you measure performance around vision and innovation not just the short-term benchmarks.

4.       Relinquish authoritarian control, delegate to and trust in others who will work in teams – and grow their resilience and wellbeing.

5.       In a team environment the CEO will need to compromise on decisions, see opportunities and skills in the team, negotiate, persuade and lead.

6.       As a modern leader, be nimble, adaptive and creative – innovate and show vision to compete in a global market in a time of rapid change.

7.       Be a friend to ambiguity and uncertainty.

8.       Find a way to let go of the day-to-day control and step away from the detail, and to reflect on what you have done, where you are going, and what you are contributing.

9.       Be open to changed work practices which reward creativity, provide community, engage in sustainable practices, nurture and support staff and see connectedness of business, family and community life.

10.   The changes do not have to be revolutionary, but they start with each and every CEO being open to connecting head and heart, listening carefully and slowing down to allow reflective in-action to guide decisions.

To read the report, CEO Insights click here.

TGIF (thank god it’s Friday) is the general sentiment around Australian workplaces

By Dr Lindsay McMillan

“Thank god it’s Monday” is a phrase that is not often heard from workers, with 72 percent of Australian workers found to be searching for more purpose and meaning in their work.

According to our recent piece of research, employers have lost focus on their most important asset – their workers – and are failing to foster a sense of purpose in individual roles.

This is a significant problem with a Gallup Poll showing that a ten per cent improvement in a workers' connection with the mission or purpose of their organisation would result in:

  • an 8.1% decrease in turnover
  • a 4.4% increase in profitability
  • a 12.7% reduction in safety incidents

And not to mention the increased healthiness of the workplace as a whole.

However, in the increasingly fast paced business landscape, the goals of employee retention through fostering growth and connection are frequently swept aside in an ill-fated bid to blindly chase profit.

What these companies forget is that the opportunity costs of losing valuable and skilful employees pose significant obstacles to their ability to maximise their potential performance as a business.

Firms have the opportunity to deliver real workplace reform for their employees and need to start seeing the benefit in developing and retaining valuable and skilful workers.

Our new report recommends a step-by-step process to avoid this situation and provide a more fulfilling workplace for employers and employees by building a culture of purpose and meaning

A business that focuses solely on the bottom line will miss the bigger picture and will lose their most valuable employees to companies that understand the importance of creating a meaningful and fulfilling work environment.

Fostering growth and connection to an organisation has become a must in the modern workplace.

‘Outsourcing epidemic’: CEOs reveal sobering views of technological disruption

By Dr Lindsay McMillan

Australian CEOs have expressed concerns that the rapid pace of change in the workplace and technological advancements could be creating an “outsourcing epidemic.”

That’s the verdict from CEO Insights, our latest survey which examined the views of 50 CEOs over an 18 month period.

The new survey delivers a unique insight into the views of Australian business leaders who have spelt out their concerns about what the future holds.

I think it is fair to say that this latest research reveals Australian CEOs are concerned about the future of workplaces.  

The rapid rate of change and the impact this is having on how business is done and what is expected of them is of increasing concern to the business leaders.

Our first report, 2016 Snapshot of Australian Workplaces, provided the employees view of the workplace and the latest report is the flip side of the coin.

Of course technology is having a revolutionary impact on business practices and it is clear from these responses that not all of it is positive.

There is a real concern amongst some CEOs that technology and globalisation has made it too easy for companies to outsource key functions, and this is having too big an impact on local employment.

As technology advances and global interconnectedness increases, more businesses will take the road of outsourcing key functions, but the concern is as to the impact.

Yes you have the intended consequences of more agility and flexibility and profitability, but also unintended ones around losing core skills and corporate knowledge, and impacts on staff.”

The survey also reveals that CEOs are seeing technology actually make it harder to communicate with what are becoming more disparate teams.

With technology allowing work to be conducted in different places, often across borders, CEOs expressed concern that it was making it more difficult to communicate across staff.  

These findings highlight the concerns of CEOs and the issues facing workplaces in this time of great change.

To read the report, CEO Insights click here.

Tick tock, employee spirits continue to drop

By Dr Lindsay McMillan

A recent report from the World Economic Forum has brought back some startling statistics on professionals and the meaning of work.

A 2013 Harvard Business Review survey found 12,000 professionals felt their job had no “meaning and significance” and a 2015 British poll found 37 per cent thought their job was “utterly useless”.

Now let’s fast-forward to 2016 and to Australia – after taking the pulse of 1,000 workers, global HR think-tank Reventure found 72 per cent of workers are looking for more purpose and meaning at work.

While there are robust workplace debate currently being undertaken in Australia – they do not address the core problem.

The debate around the four-day work week and penalty rates signals while important does not tackle the age-old question of why people should turn up to work each day.

Our latest report showed 77 per cent of millennials are looking for purpose and meaning in work. We need solutions that address these changes and we are hoping today’s announcement sparks conversation on how to respond to the big challenges, innovatively and proactively.

a future that works’ six steps to build a culture of Purpose and Meaning are:

1.                   Foster Employee Participation and Inclusion

A culture of respect and valuing employees can be generated and sustained by the simple act of inclusion.

 2.                   Communicate the Alignment between Individual Roles and Organisational Goals

 Leaders need to be able to identify and articulate the way in which an individual employee’s role contributes to the achievement of the common purpose.

 3.                   Encourage Autonomy and Active Engagement

 After there has been a clear identification and articulation of purpose, workers should be afforded a high degree of autonomy to carry out their role and make an active decision to work towards this vision.

 4.                   Provide Resources and Information

 To increase autonomy, employees should have all the information and resources they require to effectively do their job.

 5.                   Serve a Greater Purpose

 While an altruistic outcome is not a requirement for developing meaningfulness, this is a recommended addition to help maximise the update of purpose among workers.

 6.                   Reinforcing Engagement

 Actively implementing these strategies will result in higher levels of engagement, and may be reinforced through incentivisation that is not only linked to financial outcomes, but measures of application and alignment. This can be achieved through career construction and job crafting.

Is Microchip Mania the newest fad gripping workplaces?

By Dr Lindsay McMillan

With Swedish company Epicenter unveiling plans to embed a chip into 150 workers to monitor their work hours, the question that is on everybody’s lips is; has technology gone too far?

The answer is yes.

This new workplace practice is a signpost in a troubling road of unhealthy workplaces in the future and demonstrates the increased role technology is playing in the workplace, especially for younger people.

Whilst technology has undoubtedly increased productivity and connectedness, it seems to be having a troubling impact on work patterns and the ability of workers to switch off from their job.

In fact, our 2016 study of over 1,000 Australian workers found 46% feel technology also brings with it the feeling of being ‘always on’ and unable to completely shut-off from work – and this was taken before microchips became part of the equation.

Work-life balance is vitally important for all Australians and it’s important that ubiquitous technology does not negatively impact on healthy relationships and lifestyles outside of work.

To address this requires a concerted response from employers and industry to change the culture - or it will only get worse.

One key issue is how emerging technologies are contributing to stress - 54 per cent of millennials are currently experiencing technology-related stress.

If microchips to track worker movement is the future for millennial workers, one can only assume this technology-related stress will only get higher.

One in ten workers is verbally abused or bullied

By Dr Lindsay McMillan

Our new research shows that 10 per cent of Australian employees have experienced verbal abuse or bullying in the workplace.

And that doesn’t include serious incidences of conflict or other negative impacts from work – which another half of workers have experienced at some point in their career.

These are some of the concerning findings from our 2016 Snapshot of the Australian Workplace – a national survey of 1,001 workers.

Any abuse is not on, but to see 10 per cent of workers surveyed say they experience this behaviour in the workplace is a real wake up a call.

Bullying and abuse in the workplace can have a devastating effect on an individual’s mental and physical health and an organisation’s culture.

Employers, employer organisations and unions need to work collaboratively to drive down these damning numbers and work towards creating happier and healthier workplaces.”

Our research also found that:

•            20 per cent of workers experienced high levels of negativity in the workplace;

•            18 per cent experienced conflict with their boss

•            14 per cent experienced mental or physical health decline as a direct result of their work.

Statistics like these are why we started A Future That Works, a campaign to focus business leaders, employers, employees and contractors on how to improve and renew their workplaces.

The first step is to identify the problem – the next is to pursue solutions such as workplace bullying prevention plans and proactively promoting respect in the workplace.