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Deputy Editor’s Blog: All play and no work

I am soon to be speaking with Stephen Loffler, who leads the UK practice of working capital consultants REL, about building an organisational cash culture. One of the areas we will be discussing is how to embed that culture throughout all levels of the business. This will require engaging members of staff who are far removed from finance.

FDs are constantly searching for this engagement, whether around working capital management, business intelligence solutions and other areas of the business. This can sometimes seem like an uphill struggle.

Especially if findings in an email I received from Appreciating Change, a psychological change consultancy (I am not sure what it means either, but I gather it is around change management) are to be taken at face value.

According to their survey, employees are a rather disengaged lot, with only 19 percent actively engaged at work at any one time. Such disengagement, they say, costs the UK economy about £38bn a year.

Research conducted by business writer David Bolchover – whose works include The 90-Minute Manager: Lessons from the Sharp End of Management – reveals that employees are doing anything but work with their time.

Bolchover found that:

• . 1 in 3 people have taken illegal drugs at work

• . 70 percent of porn site hits happen during working hours

• . The actively disengaged have twice as much time off sick

• . 1in 5 people describe themselves as constantly surfing the net, while a majority of people estimate they spend the equivalent of a day a week on non-work websites at work

• . 7 percent send more than 20 personal emails a day

• . 1/3 of young professionals confess to being hung over twice a week at work; and

• . A quarter of people have fallen asleep at work

The email goes on to suggest various fluffy ways to get your staff engaged. But if you really want departments beyond finance to engage with meeting working capital targets, deliver quality data for business intelligence systems and so on, then using financial incentives seems the only realistic choice.


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