Discretionary Effort at Work What’s the secret ingredient? September 25, 2015 News She doesn’t feel the same way about her work place anymore. Something’s changed. She used to regard it with an almost vocational spirit…nothing was too much. She would happily do extra hours; and even pay for bits and pieces without claiming it back. She believed in what she was doing…in what they were doing as an organisation. They were in this together! But now things are different. A new management structure has been put in place, and suddenly she is voiceless and her experience un-regarded. Decisions she was once part of are now taken behind her back. And so discretionary effort – once such a feature of her work life – has been withdrawn. She’s become disengaged from the process; she won’t go the extra mile anymore. And this is costly both for her employer and for business across the country. A BUPA Report in 2013 said that failure to unlock employees ‘discretionary effort’ cut a potential £6 billion – 0.4% of GDP – from UK economy in 2012. There’s no one simple answer for any organisation; but a little happiness would help. A recent study by economists at the University of Warwick found that happiness led to a 12% spike in productivity, while unhappy workers proved 10% less productive. As the research team put it, ‘We find that human happiness has large and positive causal effects on productivity. Positive emotions appear to invigorate human beings.’ It’s not rocket science. Discretionary effort is crucial to an organisation’s future and prosperity, and is found in companies seeking to be 100% human. The Mind Clinic – with our 1-2-1 sessions and Development Days – would be delighted to work with your organisation to help you on the path to being 100% human.