It is Pollock’s first large scale work: 8’ 1 ¼” x 19’ 10”, commissioned by Peggy Guggenheim for display in her new townhouse to foster interest in a “new American brand of art” as well as “unleash the force” of Pollock’s smaller scale paintings.
Guggenheim gave no parameters, other than its size and that it was to be painted on canvas.
“Pollock spent weeks staring at the blank canvas, complaining to friends that he was “blocked,” and seeming to become both obsessed and depressed.”
Then, a sudden burst of inspiration.
With the painting, “he redefined not only the limits of his own abilities but also the possibilities of painting… Mural was immediately recognized as a turning point for American art.”
What inspires your staff and keeps them under your employ? Can you nurture greatness?
‘My painting does not come from the easel.’—Jackson Pollock
To begin, let’s consider “The State of Engagement-Fall 2014” according to modernsurvey.com. “Employee engagement is on the rise, yet more people are currently looking for another job at another company,” the post notes.
Currently, 16% of U.S. workers are “fully engaged” compared to 8% in the fall of 2011. The disengaged population is down to 22% from 32% in spring 2013.
“Belief in senior leaders” is labeled as the primary driver of engagement, yet “only 51% of U.S. workers have confidence in their senior team.”
“Growth and development” is the second strongest engagement driver.
Further, smaller companies (less than 1,000 workers) have a higher percentage of engaged employees (19%) compared to companies with more than 10,000 employees (12%).
And, managers tend to be more engaged than nonmanagerial staff (23% vs. 12%).
A key point, modernsurvey says, is that even though engagement is at its highest point, “people are taking advantage of low unemployment and an improving economy to explore their options.”
Note a trend that “As the Talent War Heats Up, Employers Unprepared,” says Employee Benefit News.
Survey results indicate about half of employers note “an increase in talent mobility.” Fifteen percent detect hiring increases and 35% report increased turnover.
“Most organizations are unprepared to meet their talent needs in the future because they fail to market their employment opportunity and brand as effectively as they would their products or services,” says a recruiter.
Further, “only 43% of companies… say that their plan of attack for future talent needs is scalable…” and “approximately 69%... cite that strategic workforce planning—a blended mix of people, data and technology—is essential or a high priority.”
Less than half, however, have confidence in their readiness for talent needs.
‘My paintings do not have a center, but depend on the same amount of interest throughout.’
Research reveals other interesting human resources (HR) trends related to engagement.
Among the “Top 10 Workforce Trends for 2015,” according to Retail Info Systems News:
HR analytics company “Visier Predicts Top Recruitment, Retention, and Compensation Trends for 2015.”
Social, demographic, economic, and technological trends impact the workforce. Employers must respond with engaged employees to achieve success.
Therefore, “Making engagement happen will be the business challenge of the next decade and a focal point of the emerging talent imperative,” says Aon Hewitt in 2014 Trends in Global Employee Engagement.
Here, three elements of employee engagement are identified: “say, stay and strive,” as engaged employees say good things about their employer, aspire to remain, and want to “go above and beyond in their job.”
Survey results show that increasing numbers of employees “say and strive” but just over half see long work tenure at their companies.
Employers must ask how to “adjust their employee value proposition to meet this invitation for short-term value exchange.”
There is “significant room for improvement for the average organization” as “there are signs that the employee value proposition is breaking down.”
This interesting report examines engagement levels of various cohorts, illuminates specific engagement drivers for them, and provides suggestions for employers in creation of strong work cultures and leadership to foster engagement.
‘Painting is self-discovery. Every good artist paints what he is.’
What can you do to help workers discover themselves and grow?
A happy work environment is a good foundation.
“Only One-fifth of American Workers Say ‘Compensation’ Is the Biggest Factor in Determining Work Happiness,” according to Spherion Staffing Services. Other happiness factors:
Interestingly, less important were flexibility (7%) and career advancement (5%).
Finally, Towers Watson provides “Insights from the 2014 Global Workforce and Global Talent Management and Rewards Studies.”
Strong leaders are imperative. When employees feel management is effective, 72% of workers are highly engaged.
Further, “Inspiring and motivating employees is the most important driver of leadership effectiveness.” But only 55% of workers “say their leaders inspire them.”
Pollock’s painting makes an impact when viewed close-up and from afar.
Each detail is an important component to the magnificence of the colorful work when viewed at a distance.
Consider your management style with Pollock’s comment: “The painting has a life of its own. I try to let it come through.”
LORA BRAY is an information research analyst for CUNA’s economics and statistics department. Follow her on Twitter via @Bray_Lora and visit the CUNA blog, “The Research Roundup: Economic Perspectives.”