There's a crisis in meaning in the workplace according to best-selling author Jerry Schuitema, who says the clues to re-establishing meaning lies in understanding that as humans we are here to serve. Schuitema is the author of “Value through Values”, a bold new book that questions our very understanding of business.
“South Africa and the world is facing a crisis of meaning in the workplace and only a major shift in the way we understand business will change this,” says Business Author and Economics Communicator Jerry Schuitema. The best-selling writer of “Econosense”, Schuitema's new book “Value Through Values”, investigates the nature and purpose of industry and questions the very nature of business and transaction.
“It is axiomatic that our true value lies in our capacity to make a contribution for the greater good, therefore contribution is central to bringing meaning back into the workplace. Employees who want to work for purpose and meaning rather than a mere salary would do well to ensure that their prospective employer's vision and mission is oriented on contribution rather than greed and taking,” he says.
Schuitema believes this crisis in meaning has been created by the fact that commercial values which have replaced higher values in both society and business. “Business chasing a pure profit motive sees people purely as resource or human capital from which the maximum material value must be extracted and this nurtures a climate where people work purely for material gain. Employees echo their hire's behaviour and go into the workplace with a take or greed mentality. Research shows that material wealth is no guarantee of meaning nor happiness and the real clues to finding these illusive states of mind lie in contribution or in being in service. The challenge to business is to recreate workplaces where people are empowered to serve and find meaning through this,” says Schuitema.
According to Schuitema business behaviour is fuelling a greed trend in which people no longer primarily work for meaning or purpose, but work to accrue wealth. Similarly the majority of businesses are not in business to serve the customer, but rather to serve the shareholder and to grow profits at all costs. Out now in all good book stores, “Value through Values” suggests that understanding transaction from a contributory point of view will not only address all current problems facing the economic world, but will enhance abundance and contentment on a personal, company, country and global level.