Last week my attention was drawn to an Insight Report, which you may have seen, carried out by Hay Group in 2012. The report examines annual engagement and enablement levels within 1,610 organisations  – representing an extraordinary 5,000,000 employees worldwide – and it concludes that over the past few years we have seen employee engagement across the world decline or stagnate at 2008 levels. This is happening at the very point when organizations around the world really need to deliver better performances than ever.

I guess I must be getting a little immune to reading about ‘worrying levels of engagement’, and I think it is the scale of this particular report that made me sit up and take notice. Apparently more that 44% of the global workforce intends to leave their employees within five years, and more that 21% are intending to leave within two years. These statistics are set against a difficult world economy and depressed job market that must be having a significant impact on reducing employee mobility and churn. Clearly there is now a build up of restlessness and frustration, which as the report suggests, is likely to result in a dramatic rise in staff mobility if there is so much as a small improvement in the labour market. Very often it is the best performing workers who are prepared to vote with their feet if their organization doesn’t give them what they need to deliver.

The report concluded that lack of engagement was not the only problem. It also revealed that more than a third of employees reported that they are unable to perform optimally, with an average of 33 per cent of workers claiming that barriers put in place by the organization are preventing them from excelling at work.

“There is a stubborn gap between the discretionary effort employees across the world are willing to put into their work and the level of support available to help them excel. For organizations looking to harness the full productivity of their workforce, leaving this pool of motivation untapped is a wasted opportunity. To truly drive productivity, business leaders must understand the role they have to play in enabling high levels of performance – removing the barriers that are holding their employees and their organizations back.”

Mark Royal, Senior Principal, Hay Group Insight

“Removing Barriers” has been The Primary Objective what we do with The Charisma Model Programme since 2008. For the last 5 years we have been helping individuals, within organisations, to recognize and then choose to remove the barriers to engagement, empowerment, high performance and growth that they have consciously and unconsciously created.

From a very young age we each of us learn how to put up walls to protect ourselves from harm, failure, embarrassment, hurt and a host of other perceived potential negative emotions and experiences. Very often these walls become so effective that we become so comfortable living within them, we begin to fear ‘stepping outside’. We believe that if an organization is truly looking to “remove the barriers that are holding their employees back’, they must first recognize that, in the vast majority of cases, the stuff that stops us from reaching our full potential – both as individuals and as organisations  – is not lack of skill or lack of knowledge. The barriers that blocks our success often have nothing to do with any problems with the quantity or quality of our output, or even the way that we organize our time and resources. The walls that we just can’t seem to climb over, or smash through are held deep within our values and belief systems – and very often they are so deeply held within our subconscious that we are not even consciously aware that they are there, getting in our way.

“The potential of the average person is like a huge ocean unsailed, a

new continent unexplored, a world of possibilities waiting to be

released and channeled toward some great good.”  

Brian Tracy