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Organizational Paradigms and Their Impact on Employee Engagement

Updated: Oct 16, 2022

By Workplace Peace Institute

Reimagining organizations by devising an innovative model that encourages productive, fulfilled, and engaged employees.

Employee Engagement
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Businesses have experienced demographic droughts and global calamities in the past, including wars, recessions, and terrorist attacks. But rarely have such events occurred simultaneously. The pandemic highlighted the stark differences of inequality of Corporate America's playing field as no other singular event has prior. 2020 was a year of unpredictable challenges, which has led to a reevaluation of business models to address employees' return to the workplace. This historical event has not been easy on leaders and managers who must inspire and structure organizational systems that are effective and functional. The ongoing pandemic prompts a reassessment and, in some cases, an overhaul of a company's strategy for maintaining their employees' level of engagement in the workplace. The frustration of the workforce at all levels of an organization means leadership teams must reevaluate and reorganize their business model to increase employee engagement in their company.

The majority of full-time workers in the world are either watching the clock or actively opposing their employer. – Gallup, 2021

According to the 2021 Gallup report, "The State of the Global Workplace," employee engagement decreased globally by two percentage points, from 22 percent in 2019 to 20 percent in 2020. Of that percentage, only 36 percent of people polled in the United States reported being highly involved and enthusiastic about the workplace. From an organizational perspective, this lack of engagement indicates an extraordinary waste of organizational productivity. From a human perspective, it means a gross misuse of human potential.

Gallup found that when organizations' performance management systems center on basic human needs, including psychological conditions such as acceptance, acknowledgment, recognition, fairness, and emotional safety, employees experience more engagement and contribute to the organization at higher levels. This commitment translates directly to increased productivity and improved bottom line profit. With a 36 percent employee engagement rate, U.S. companies are missing opportunities for innovation, organizational growth, and profitability.

Leading organizations address an employee's basic human needs in the workplace by creating an environment in which all employees experience their inherent worth and value at each point within the organizational system during their employment life cycle.

In his book, Reinventing Organizations, Frederic Laloux discusses the concept of how organizations have evolved and illustrates organizational color paradigms. Developing from Laloux's foundational work, Workplace Peace Institute introduced a new paradigm, the Turquoise organization, which mines the best and most practical aspects of the Green and Teal paradigms. Turquoise organizations understand and embrace employee engagement by striving to meet basic human needs by first defining those needs and what it signifies for each employee.

Leaders in Turquoise paradigm-driven companies allow employees to lean into their unique selves, thrive in an environment that allows for participation in the company's success, enjoy personal fulfillment through a sense of belonging, and experience their inherent worth and value from others. An organization's leadership is responsible for creating such an environment where employees share a workplace where they can be their best.

Reimagine Employee Engagement

Employee engagement in the workplace is a chronic challenge, now more than ever. Employees respond to the environment in which they dwell. Forward-thinking and responsible leaders promote and maintain the integration of basic human needs and dignity in an organizational system. A Turquoise-paradigm design provides an opportunity for leaders to create a healthy, thriving organizational system that meets the needs of all stakeholders by maximizing employee engagement, attracting and retaining top talent, increasing innovation, and optimizing bottom-line growth.

Engaged employees are those who are involved in, enthusiastic about, and committed to their work and workplace. --Gallup, 2021

Employee engagement improves when performance management systems focus on basic human needs, like dignity, psychological safety, fairness, and respect. The mission of Workplace Peace Institute is to create a Turquoise-paradigm of an organizational culture that supports the essentials of one's inherent worth and value as a human being. Stated simply, when employees experience this in their workplace environment, they are more engaged and thus more productive.

By fostering a new vision for an organization and the people who work there, forward-looking leaders can pioneer a Turquoise organization that meets employee's basic human needs, increases workplace engagement and overall organizational productivity and growth. Click here to connect with Dr. Robyn Short at Workplace Peace Institute and let us advance your organization toward reimagining the workplace – your workplace – of engaged employees.

Workplace Peace Institute is an organizational systems design and research firm that brings a holistic and multidisciplinary approach to organizational development. We support small to mid-sized businesses in optimizing employee engagement, maximizing organizational productivity, and improving profitability by infusing human security and dignity as foundational business model attributes.


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