Barbara Stewart Director
Barbara Stewart is an experienced Executive Coach focused on Leadership Development, Team Facilitation and Workshops, Employee Engagement and Professional Development....
GM retooled a production line in under 3 weeks in order to produce ventilators.
“The speed has been challenging,” Gerald Johnson, GM’s global vice president of manufacturing, said in a Sunday evening interview per Bloomberg News. “But we know it will save thousands of lives. Making cars is cool, but it doesn’t compare to what we’re doing.”
Who would have ever thought this was possible? It never would have happened without the unifying power of purpose. These people knew exactly the impact their efforts would have, and in this case, it was to save lives.
Let us hope that this level of need drives purpose only a few times in our lives.
As leaders look at what it will take to re-energize the workforce, know that clarity of purpose will be key.
Many employees have had the opportunity to rebalance work and life, making the two work together in a home environment, cluttered with school and work from the kitchen table. Forced closeness has brought many family members closer together in a good way, and the joy of family will be a major pull as we move toward regenerating our economy.
The vestiges of “normal” work will be welcome by many. But all of us have experienced an extremely stressful time that will lead to a questioning of priorities. In order to capture and re-engage your workforce you will need a compelling purpose, coupled with the ability to demonstrate how each person’s role contributes.
This is the engagement workers have sought for years. And this is your grand opportunity to provide it and benefit greatly. Here is what you need to know:
Purpose in the workforce is two-fold:
Follow GM’s example. Why the company exists and who it serves changed dramatically in a short period of time. To produce vehicles for car-buying consumers changed to produce ventilators for people to live.
The engineer went from producing aero-dynamic car designs to air-providing machinery. Packaging, shipping and the tiniest of screws all were a critical part of a life-saving device.
Can you create a compelling purpose that gets employees out of bed, out of their homes and eager to come to work?
This is the challenge.