Ikigai And Employee Engagement

First, the bad news. Employee engagement is shockingly low. Here are some statistics :

  • 15% of employees worldwide are engaged in their jobs (Gallup)

  • Among millennials who worked at 5-7 organizations, 34% didn’t trust their direct manager, 31% said their organizations don’t set goals, and 48% said their organization thought only about profits (O.C. Tanner)

  • 12% of businesses are happy with current levels of employee engagement (CBI)

We’d like to suggest that there’s a simple reason for these abysmal numbers: most employers don’t see their employees as people. That is, they don’t see the human spirit first; their policies and practices unintentionally reduce human beings to the level of interchangeable cogs.

Ikigai offers a way out of this trap. The concept suggests that every person has a unique reason for being. Lonnie Mayne, creator of the Red Shoes Living philosophy, puts it more simply. “Every person has their own story. The more you understand and honor this story, the more engaged that person will be.”

This doesn’t mean that employers should coddle their employees. It just means that by understanding what is most important to the individuals on your team, you can bring out their best.

To find your ikigai, join our Who Am I program.