Worker Engagement

Almost every app on our phones, tablet, and computers are designed to keep us engaged. The owners of the applications are only making money if they have our attention. Most office work requires us to be engaged behind a screen - or at least at a desk in reach of our phones.

Many employers fight a constant battle for their employee's attention. Some do this by restricting their network or having strict rules around phone usage - but I think this is the exception. Monitoring is expensive and, probably ineffective. I don't have data around this, but having someone look over my shoulder only makes me work just enough to satisfy their gaze.

I am reading a book by Ari Weinzweig, "A Lapsed Anarchist's Approach to Being a Better Leader." In the book, he cites a Harris Poll that says, "Only 37% of employees know the company’s goals; only 20% are enthusiastic about those goals; only 20% could say how they could support those goals; only 15% feel like are enabled to work towards ‘em; only 20% fully trust the company they worked for." What I take from the chapters I've read so far, is that employers are competing for attention and engagement of their employees and that employees will never be won over without a better relationship with management.

I believe that for the majority of business models under capitalism - especially if they are publically traded or venture-funded - a better relationship is all but impossible. I think we can address this problem by increasing worker ownership of the businesses in which they work.

I am very interested in worker-owned cooperatives. I plan on doing a lot more research in the coming months. I will post my findings here!