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Stop Hating Your Job, Start Healing Businesses

North American employees are completely disengaged with their jobs. So how can business turn this around and start engaging their workforce?

Gallup Research for the past 16 years has confirmed one tragic reality of our business world.
Most of us are totally and utterly disengaged with our jobs. We don’t feel impassioned by the work we do. Dis-engaged is a buzzword for don’t care and not interested in making positive contributions to our organization.

Instead, we trudge through our work week with gritted teeth, doing what has to be done to earn a paycheck to sustain our families and live our “real” life outside of work.
In the United States and Canada alone, just over 1/3 of employees reported feeling any engagement with their work in 2015.

In a “State of the Global Workforce,” Gallup discovered that these two North American countries actually had the world’s highest level of engagement; world-wide people feeling connected to their jobs tracked closer to 13 percent.

Simultaneously, there has been a trend towards the creation of much bigger companies through exercises of acquisitions and mergers. Does that make it better?
No, says Gallup. Employees in large companies report even less engagement than in smaller ones.

The issue of engagement leads to the obvious question: Does it really matter whether or not people care about their jobs, as long as they show up and do them?
It turns out that it does. Lack of engagement has serious negative consequences on the productivity and profit of a company and potentially lasting repercussions on the global economy.

Globally, business has never faced more challenges. It has to maintain high levels of productivity while growing its customer base across different countries and different cultures.

As financial expert David D. Hale puts it, we are facing “the Second Great Age of Global Capitalism.”

In the book The Challenge of Global Capitalism: The World Economy in the 21st Century by Robert Gilpin with Jean Millis Gilpin (Princeton University Press), the authors suggest that our businesses are going through the most impactful transformation since the emergence of the international economy in the 17th and 18th centuries.

They suggest that if businesses are going to adjust to the challenges at hand, they need to understand the forces behind them and find new strategies to adapt to them.
One of these strategies emerging out of Canada and gaining interest in the United States, Europe, and New Zealand, is a unique set of cross-cultural strategies designed to help businesses and others to build bridges for better business development and communications.

Known as The Bridging Principles™ and rooted deep in Indigenous culture, they are designed to get people back to caring about each other, their work, and the world in general. The principles are centered on the theory that we cannot do our best and operate effectively when we are unable to build strong bridges to connect ourselves with the world and its businesses.

In other words, we need to find a new way to work.

The ways to empower workers and companies, the means to grow globally through deep cultural understanding, and the strategies for effective negotiations will all be covered through this new blog series, The Bridging Principles™.

“The Bridging Principles™: Building Bridges for Business,” coming out in Spring 2016

About the Author
Leah Taylor Best is the CEO and Lead Master Facilitator of The Bridging Principles™. Leah teaches cultural anthropology at Augusta University, Augusta, Georgia.
Leah has a Masters Degree in Globalization Studies from McMaster University, with an undergraduate degree in International Development Studies. Leah comments, “Learning about the Principles from Chief Alexis has transformed my life. Since I have incorporated these Principles into daily practices, I have increased my capacity for building effective partnerships, problem solving, and resolving conflicts in a manner that leaves both sides satisfied with the outcome. The Bridging Principles™ are an essential tool that people in our globalizing world need more today than ever before.”

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