The Link between Heartbreak and High Performance

Creating High Performing Organisations – how can that be connected to heartache?

I’m guessing most of you reading this will have experienced the pain of heartache at some time or another. If you have then, then I expect you will have also found yourself ‘checking out’ of a relationship before you shared your feelings with a partner, or before the ‘end’ became public knowledge.

But, what does this have to do with creating high performing organisations?

Let me take you back to 2018, when more than 20,000 Google employees upped and left their desks in protest of their company’s troublesome behaviour. In a single day hundreds of thousands across the world took action to express their anger and frustration. It was not only headline grabbing, but a very active statement that to many of us would not feel like  a risk worth taking. This kind of highly public statement is an exception and happened because staff felt safe and secure enough collectively to take action. To know that even if they lost their jobs, they would still be highly employable.

The truth is though, these kinds of ‘walkouts’ happen all day every day in companies all over the world – it’s just we don’t always witness them in such obvious or dramatic examples.

‘Invisible walkouts’ happen in our heads and hearts silently. We protest by pushing the boundaries, we stop trying so hard or act in ways that go against the organisation’s objectives. This kind of ‘checking out’ is not dissimilar to how we behave when we feel a personal relationship has run its course. You find yourself caring less and all the small things you used to do ‘just because,’ are no more. In the workplace we call this kind of ‘checking out’ employee disengagement or quiet quitting, and just as the end of a relationship costs you your heart –   employee disengagement costs the world nearly $8 trillion in lost productivity.

The Google protest was indeed a very visible and vocal response by staff who felt unseen and unheard, but an ‘invisible walkout’ is much harder to spot. This is why leaders and managers must create a culture that enables others to thrive, contribute and communicate openly at all levels. The primary responsibility of leaders is to curate a Conscious Culture – that is to say, a culture that lives and breathes their organisational ambition, values and expectations – not one that refers to them in passing, occasionally. A culture  where differences are invited, debated and discussed, and cognitive diversity drives innovation and problem solving

Aspiring have helped countless companies create a culture that is conscious of every individual involved, and where everyone feels safe enough to bring all their contributions to work. We work specifically with managers and leaders to develop a culture where words are backed up by action, to prevent ‘walkouts’ in any capacity. Creating a culture of engagement is not defined by a rule book or company brochure, but an experience that is felt throughout the entire workforce. It is not easy, but the results are worth it, so if you would like to learn more about how we do this, please get in touch and we’ll help you explore the clarity of your roadmap, the engagement of your teams and the power of your culture.