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Debbie Robins Headshot

Quality of Life Is The New Money

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YOUNG PEOPLE IN AN OFFICE
Geber86 via Getty Images

There is a radical new undercurrent enveloping the global business community. I reference it this way: Quality of Life is the new money. Those CEOs who get ahead of this trend will prosper; those that don't will suffer the consequences of a work force getting fed up with stressful business environments that suck the life out of it despite some apparent financial rewards.

Consider the compelling facts as provided by John P. Kotter and James L. Heskett in their article entitled: "Corporate Culture And Performance."

The Average Increase for Twelve Firms with Performance-Enhancing Cultures:

Revenue Growth: 682 percent
Employment Growth: 282 percent
Stock Price Growth: 901 percent
Net Income Growth: 756 percent

The Average Increase for Twenty Firms without Performance-Enhancing Cultures:

Revenue Growth: 166 percent
Employment Growth: 36 percent
Stock Price Growth: 74 percent
Net Income Growth: one percent

In my executive, leadership, and culture coaching practice, I get the privilege of advising a diverse array of global leaders. Here is additional data we are using to stay ahead of the curve.

Unless your company's culture is compelling...

The Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) and Generation X (born 1960-1980) are trending to end their careers early and move on with their lives to do things that are more meaningful to them with people they enjoy being with.

Unless your company's culture is compelling...

The millennials (born 1982-1996) are giving corporations the proverbial "finger." The Harris Interactive report states that 54 percent of all millennials are planning on leaving their firms to try entrepreneurship because they don't like the cultures of their present companies. Millennials value autonomy, purpose, meaning and the opportunity to make a difference. They also demand an authentic work/life balance.

Work Buzz says that 60 percent of millennials are cutting ties with what they thought were their dream jobs. In fact, many are checking out in three years or less. It is estimated that the cost of replacing a Millennial is as high as $25,000 a pop. That's a lot of wasted currency.

To add additional misery to the hiring practices of those companies that continue to practice top-down, overly bureaucratic, punitive organizational principles, the new generation that is about to burst on to the work scene, being called "plurals" (born 1997 and beyond) are so independent in their thinking, likes, dislikes and perception of the world that they are disinterested in any structure or rule book other than that of their own design.

To learn more about the plurals, read the Magid Generational Strategies survey; it's fascinating. The concept of a traditional organization as we know it is of no interest to Plurals. Zero. If you haven't heard about an organizational model called a "Hive" yet, I encourage you to Google it.

Accenture sums it up nicely when they report that, among Boomers, Gen X, Gen Y, millennials and now plurals:

- 31 percent don't like their boss.
- 31 percent feel disempowered.
- 35 percent are tired of internal politics.
- 43 percent don't feel recognized.

That's a 74 percent level of employee dissatisfaction!

What's a CEO to do?

Make culture, defined as your collective beliefs and practices, the most important thing you invest in, grow and manage. Hire a brilliant Chief Culture Officer to create a caring, connected, conscious culture that honors all parts of the human spirit. This is not Human Resources as we know it. This is a C Suite leadership position with the mastery, talent and resources awarded any CEO, COO, CFO or CIO.

Let's face it. We are not only asking our human capital to do a good job, we are now demanding that they think, lead, solve complex problems quickly, recover rapidly from mistakes and come up with the next great idea, product or service every three to six months.

If you want contiguous innovation, culture is the key.

If you want best in class talent and employee retention, culture is the key.

If you want outstanding communication and brand alignment, culture is the key.

If you want the stability and ability to weather any crisis, culture is the key.

If you want to build an emotional linkage between your team and your consumer, culture is the key.

If you want to align the behavioral patterns of your organization so they actually mirror your vision and value statements, culture is the key.

If you believe that these core strategies will make you money, hire a Chief Culture Officer yesterday.