” Houston we have a problem”

Those immortal words were spoken by astronaut Jim Lovell on board Apollo 13 mission in 1970.

Can you imagine if the response from Mission Control was something like this ” Nah she’ll be right”

My example may be viewed as rather flippant but I am deadly serious in my sentiment that in Australia we have great difficulty in dealing with issues that confront us.

In the past couple of years, a whole host of respected commentators in this country have highlighted the need for organisations to establish strategies relating to engagement with their people.

It would be wrong to categorise all organisations who have adopted this attitude as some progress is being maintained. One would think this would be the spur for others to act apparently not as the latest information comes to hand.

This comes in the form of yet another alarming report ( A Future that Works) from Mr Lindsay ‘Mcmillan one of Australia’s key experts in this field. He presents some startling data, suggesting we are going backwards in dealing with this challenge.

72% of employees are looking for greater meaning in their work
50% will be looking for new work in 2017
18% report experiencing conflict with their employer

The simple question we need to pose ” Are we comfortable in accepting the possible consequences of this trend?

If I may add my own contribution to this issue. For the last two years, I have structured my company’s activities around the promotion of engagement. This has included developing materials to assist organisations in dealing with this challenge together in speaking to a wide range of parties including various groups of CEOs and other leaders.

I have to sadly report the results have been less than satisfactory revealing a mixture of apathy, resistance and lack of vision surrounding what is confronting Australian business.

Regardless of my personal experiences and others, I have absolutely no doubt there is a continuing need to urgently address this problem. The attitude of ” she’ll be right” should be long gone it will only lead to further accumulated pain for business.

One can only hope the much-craved aspect of leadership emerges with some clear direction of where we go from here on this subject. Or do we continue to operate in a bubble of self-denial that this issue will sort itself out without our intervention?