‘Issues of politics, culture, and social debate have fully entered the workplace. Employees have been asked to bring their whole self to work as organizations try to create a more inclusive and productive work environment. This is fundamentally different than a decade ago when employees were expected to leave their personal perspectives “at the door.” Employees also expect their employer to get more involved in the societal and political debates of the day; Gartner analysis found three out of four employees expect their employer to take a view on the societal and political debates of the day. The combination of these factors is creating conflict in the workplace — a Gartner 2020 survey of more than 500 employees revealed that 44% of employees have actively avoided coworkers because of their political beliefs. Further, Gartner analysis found employee engagement can drop by one-third when employees are disappointed with their employer’s stance on the societal and political debates of the day. The shifting nature of organizations — how they relate to their employees, communities, and their role in society — is creating the next, new major C-suite role that will emerge in 2022: the chief purpose officer. Currently, these responsibilities are widely diffused across HR, legal, communications, and other roles in the organization. In 2022, these will be consolidated into this new role as ESG becomes even more important to corporate strategies.
What are you doing to create purpose in your workplace? Have a strong unified vision? A focus is important.