Cascade Research: Engaged Big Business Divorced

Theres too much ta-ra, given all the hu-ha and kumbaya, says Karim Zuhri, General Manager and COO at Cascade.

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Key Points: 
  • Theres too much ta-ra, given all the hu-ha and kumbaya, says Karim Zuhri, General Manager and COO at Cascade.
  • Karim refers to insights from a study conducted by Cascade, surveying international businesses with 1,000 or more employees, including team managers and executives.
  • The studies show that despite most businesses investing in engaging employees, staff are divorced from companies intentions.
  • A separate, independent, study by CPA Australia found video conferencing and group collaboration tools to be the most used business technologies, adopted across 98.1 per cent of businesses.


Employees at large organisations are detached from their companies’ strategic intentions. They are hindered from aligning their work activities and accomplishments with their employers’ strategies.

“There’s too much ta-ra, given all the hu-ha and kumbaya,” says Karim Zuhri, General Manager and COO at Cascade.

Karim refers to insights from a study conducted by Cascade, surveying international businesses with 1,000 or more employees, including team managers and executives.

The studies show that despite most businesses investing in engaging employees, staff are divorced from companies’ intentions.

“Everyone’s zooming, teaming, slacking; or whatever the collaboration tool. But nobody knows where they’re heading, other than out the door - given half the chance,” adds Karim.

A separate, independent, study by CPA Australia found video conferencing and group collaboration tools to be the most used business technologies, adopted across 98.1 per cent of businesses.

Cascade's research shows:

  • That the majority (80 per cent) of employees actively thinking about resigning feel their jobs are separated from their employers’ strategies.
  • As much as 62 per cent of people with very low employee satisfaction admit that they’re only able to refer to their companies’ strategies once or twice a year, compared to 92 per cent of very highly satisfied employees attesting to integrating their jobs more frequently with their employers’ strategies.
  • Only 14 per cent of all team members using collaboration, task management and engagement tools measure their activities and outcomes weekly against company strategy.
  • Nearly 60 per cent of these team members feel excluded from their companies’ strategies.
  • As many as three in ten executives feel separated from their companies' strategies. And only half of all executives (51 percent) who use collaboration, task management and engagement tools review progress against strategy weekly.
  • And 79 percent of employees claim to know their companies’ strategies, but only 18 per cent admit to actively working on these strategies on a weekly basis.

Jordan Colreavy, Head of Category Strategy at L'Oréal, says: “Teams feeling disconnected between day-to-day activities and business strategy is a real concern.”

It is evident from the 1,765 people surveyed for the Cascade research that, just as Jordan states, strategy disconnect is a serious issue for businesses and executive teams.

Karim believes that senior executives are aware of the disconnects and are therefore insisting everyone return to the office, hoping that this will focus employees’ connection and direction.

“Is it why Elon Musk ordered his teams back to the office - hoping that having them sit at the same address will somehow get them to chase the same destination?” suggests Karim.

Cascade’s research suggests it’s a hope not supported by evidence. No difference in the rate of disconnect and the effects of disengagement was found between research participants contributing from offices and those from remote or home locations.

“Going to work is about going to progress strategy effectively. Not just being busy at a location specified by the boss. Employees who know the strategy and perform with it regularly work the best,” adds Karim.

The research was conducted to corroborate discussions and claims being made at Cascade’s Strategy Fest, running live on 21 June from 16:00 to 19:00 UTC.

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ADDITIONAL NOTES:

CPA Business Technology Report 2021

Cascade collected data across 9 industries and three continents, 53% from the USA, 37% from the UK and 10% from Australia. Data was gathered from all reporting levels, from team members and individual contributors all the way to C-level executives in Australia, the US and the UK. The results of the research can be found here.

All of Cascade’s employees contribute to the company’s strategy remotely. They qualify their activities, projects and outcomes against Cascade’s strategy weekly.

ABOUT CASCADE:

Over 8,000 teams across different countries and industries use Cascade to continuously, consciously and instinctively advance their strategies through pragmatic actions. Every day. By using Cascade’s digitised neural system for connecting employees' activities and reactions with organisations’ strategic intents.