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  • Writer's picturelindsayannkohler

We've Entered The Wild, Wild West Of Employee Engagement

This post originally appeard on Forbes on October 12, 2020.

This year, businesses have been forced to adapt to working conditions previously unseen. New ways of working made up on the fly, little oversight of people and processes, people and leaders working harder than ever to keep up with unpredictable conditions, and venturing into a brave new world of work has defined 2020. This environment is similar to the experience of frontier settlers in the American West.

Research published last month in Nature Human Behaviour by a team out of Cambridge detected remnants of a pioneering personality in U.S. populations whose ancestors lived in the harsh and remote conditions of the American frontier. These remote environments attracted non-conformists who longed for freedom; those who were willing to take risks; and those who closely guarded their territory. As our working environments have quickly changed to resemble something like the frontier — isolated and difficult — what can we learn from "frontier mentality" and subsequently control for in our employee engagement strategy? Turns out, plenty. Read the rest on Forbes.

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