Love is not supposed to be easy - BISLove isn’t supposed to be easy, it’s supposed to be worth it.

And the same goes for Work.

It’s never easy. Your boss may have a bad day from time to time. You may have a collegue who’s impossible to work with. You may have been put on a terrible project. You may have a great job, but then it’s a 2 hour drive to get there. Your excellent performance may not be fully translated into the salary increases which you deserve. Or you may suffer from a combination of these factors. And the key question, of course, is always: “Even if it’s not easy, is it worth it?”

Today, a new website has seen the light :

http://werkopmaat.belgie.be.

It’s about “workable work“. We need to work longer, and a much higher % of employees need to work until their official pension age. But then the key question is, how can we achieve this in a sustainable way, how do we keep work workable, even until 65 ?

Do what you loveLet’s assume this: work is not supposed to be easy, it’s supposed to be worth it.

So work can be hard, at times. But not all the time. And it should not be too hard. And not too easy, because then we get bored.

Do what you love, and love what you do.

But the new website about #werkopmaat mentions that only 65% of the working population think they will be able to work until they are officially entitled to retire. That’s not a lot. Why is that? Because today, quite often, work is often not workable?

What are the symptoms, if work is not workable? Stress, fatigue, burn out, mental problems, etc.: all are on the rise.  Employees break down (often the passionate employees, or the perfectionists), and they need 1, 3, 6 or even more months to recover from  it.

To be clear, and to avoid typical Employer / Employee polarization: in such cases, both parties (Employer and Employee) lose out & they both pay the price. It’s a lose / lose situation.

stress passionThe website Werkopmaat mentions a number of tools & refers to existing legislation, in order to make work more workable. E.g. CAO104 for +55 employees.

And there are many new, fresh ideas and initiatives which, for example,  will give employees more freedom and flexibility with regards to their vacation days (i.e. “loopbaansparen”).

(Source quote.)

I looked at it from another perspective. I believe that the War for Talent will be there any time soon. I don’t know when of course, but it will come. In that perspective, talented employees (both young and old) have much more freedom to vote with their feet. So the whole Workable Work discussion  then becomes more of another discussion: “As an organisation, how on earth do we keep work workable so that we keep all of our valuable and talented employees on board ?“.

This approach requires that we look into the question, why do talents leave their organization? 

Top 5 why top talents leaveWell, number 1 is clear (31% !) “because their Boss is a Jerk”. Full stop. This suggests, that creating workable work may require that much more attention goes to developing great (not : good) people managers, so that they are able to keep inspiring & motivating their employees?

Second, “Lack of empowerment“. In how many so-called modern organisations do you still need 6 signatures for even the smallest purchases? Does setting up a project requires much more red tape than justified? How do you allow employees to have more impact? By working trust-based, instead of rule-based? By creating much flatter organisations?

Vacation(Source quote.)

Third, “Internal Politics“. No comment on that one.

Fourth, “Recognition“. 43% of employees (!) feel that even if they do all the hard work, they don’t get the credit for it. Or, how a pat on the back may mean more than the plush Stock Bonus Plan?

The 5th reason is understandable enough, and a little bit obvious: “The company is going under“. Every employee wants to belong to a successful organisation that keeps growing (in a sustainable way), that has a positive impact on society, that is financially healthy, etc.

To conclude: I think if an organisation covers these 5 domains, that’s a great first step in the direction of keeping work workable, and keeping all talent on board! That may not be easy, but I think it’s worth it.

Any thoughts on this ?

Have a great (& workable) work week !

Peter

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