While at work, how in touch is the average employee with his authentic self? Although this discussion is not frequently broached in most organizations, it may prove valuable to add it to the short list of topics to consider.
"Like Sisyphus from the Greek mythology, we drag our boulders to the top of a mountain day in and day out, and many of us no longer see the point. It is time to stop isolating human beings from performance," says Daniel Eppling, managing partner of Krauthammer International, a European consultancy-based training and coaching company.
Knowing oneself is not just an individual strength; it can benefit the organization at large. According to a recent Krauthammer report, the more "self-connected" employees are at work, the better their performance. Specifically, 66 percent of employees believe that they need to connect with themselves to fulfill their potential, and 33 percent are not confident they know themselves.
In this case, self-connectedness was measured in a series of attributes including resistance to stress, use of intuition, acceptance of the unpredictability of modern business life, emotional stability and sincerity, and integrity.
The survey was conducted online, and consisted of 445 respondents. Seventy-one percent of the sample was male, and 29 percent was female. In addition, 70 percent had more than 10 years of work experience, 58 percent were in management positions, and 55 percent worked for organizations containing more than 500 employees.
"The most important effect of being self-connected that was reported, is greater comfort in taking on new initiatives," says Karoliina Rasi-Hedberg, head of corporate communications at Krauthammer. She adds that organizations who promote self-connectedness can maintain their competitive edge in terms of grooming employees skilled in managing change, working autonomously, and exercising disciplined entrepreneurship.
The results showed that only 50 percent of workers feel self-connected at work, though 64 percent follow their intuition often, or very often, in the workplace.
The study suggests that employees working in tightly knit organizations that have strong corporate cultures tend to feel self-connected and follow their intuition. These types of companies encourage innovation and openly acknowledge creative insight within their workforces, thus underscoring the acceptance of intuitive decision making.
When organizations allow employees to take stock of their own mental well-being, they are investing in the long-term health and productivity of their talent pools.
"Our message to executives is that if your competitors are getting short-term results through placing more pressure on their workforce, achieve sustainable results by doing the opposite," says Rasi-Hedberg.