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What Companies Say Important to Us vs What is Important to Us

We all operate under several collective illusions! Yes, you are saying things that you don't mean in psychology research we sometimes call it public vs private image or rather opinion in this case. Collective illusion upsets this relationship by distorting that image making us say and doing things we don't believe in. 


A collective illusion is a situation where most people in a group go along with a view they don't agree with because they incorrectly believe that most people agree with it. It is not about misreading a few individuals, it is about believing that the majority believe in something that they actually don't. How do we find this out? We conduct surveys! 


One of the most important collection illusions Populace Workforce Index found is around how we understand success. We think, that most people (in America) care about wealth, fame, status, and power, when in fact the opposite is true. It turns out that most people care about personal fulfilment. So you try to chase fame on social media believing people care when in fact we couldn't give a toss about it. Score! 


So how is such a survey conducted and what did they find about work? 


Survey: They ask people the same question but in two different contexts:

1, What most people would say about....? (public opinion)

2 What do you say about ... (private opinion) 


You get very different answers! So I looked at what the workforce (in America) wants when you take out the public opinion. It turns out that people don't about the things we hear from organisational leaders, HR bodies or on TV. We don't care about diversity, leadership and all that... Here is how people scored. 


Top 5 people privately care about

#1 - I am well-compensated 

#2 I can work remotely or in a hybrid home/ workplace arrangement 

#3 - I have good benefits I can do my work while still having time for other things I care about

#4 - I can plan around my work schedule 

#5 - I feel personally interested in my work 


Last places out of 60:

#46 - The organisation has a clear, compelling purpose 

#47 - The organisation provides some free meals and snacks, gear, and other perks

#50 - I receive feedback that helps me improve

#51 - The workplace offers opportunities to make friends and personal connections

#55 - My job is recognised as prestigious

#56 - The organisation takes steps to increase the representation of minorities

#57 - The organisation's leadership takes strong positions on current events


It turns out that everything that we have been told what makes a good organisational culture - because the "that's what people want" is just a collective illusion that we went along with because we believed that's what the majority believed - is just not true. We wasted millions on collective illusions and we had not one leader or HR out there standing up saying "This is not what I want, which makes me question maybe that's not what my people want." This is the problem with your engagement silly surveys!!!


I personally, never cared about the food, events, leadership (as long as it is not toxic), the vision & mission bla bla, or anyone's feedback. But I was force-fed by all that like a duck whose liver will be used for foie gras. 


So here is a survey for you HR professionals, leaders, and managers to think about. We don't care about your team-building sessions, best friend at work, food, events, leadership mantras and all that you have been wasting money on. Surprisingly, we care about ourselves. Wow! What a discovery! 


PS: Let's agree on one thing; people care about different things and a one-size-fits-all approach must be left in the rubbish bin of the past. Do we actually know what our people truly care about? 


Exciting news! My second book, "Blind Leading the Disengaged - From Kindergarten to Employee Experience," is dropping in April! It's a treasure trove of solutions and cool ideas to shake up your people management game. But before we get there, let's chat about where we're at now—The Corporate Kindergarten, as I spilt the beans in my first book. Check it out, and let's transform your workplace from a daycare to an awesome employee experience hub!:




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