In business, uncertainty is the lack of certainty or sureness of an event. In accounting, uncertainty is the inability to foretell consequences due to a lack of knowledge on which to make predictions. And when people can’t make predictions about their workplaces, they get nervous, unproductive, and disengaged.
That uncertainty and disengagement comes with a high price tag—The Gallup Organization estimates that there are 22 million actively disengaged employees costing the economy $350 billion each year in lost productivity due to absences, illness, and other problems related to unhappiness at work.
In order to shift to a happier, healthier workplace, leadership and HR professionals need to shift how they manage uncertainty. Instead of shying away from uncertainty, managers need to embrace it and take charge of gray areas to drive understanding, open communication, and engagement.