The best way to get maximize commitment, effort and production from people is to ensure they feel valued.
Everyone wants to be appreciated and respected, but what many organizations fail to realize is that this goes far beyond just the financial implications or an occasional free lunch. These things are expected (after all, no-one is going to work for free) so it takes a few extra steps to get people to go the extra mile.
Let me tell you a quick story that I’ve kept to myself for 21 years.
Theodor Seuss Geisel (better known under his pseudonym "Dr. Seuss,") provided humor, wisdom and life lessons to millions of little kids… and the big kids who read his stories with them - including me.
As with family and friends, I believe a successful workplace is the result of the relationships we have with those around us. It’s all too easy to become consumed by results, deadlines, budgets and even our own ‘place’ in a whirlwind workplace, when we should really take time to recognize, trust and appreciate the folks we spend a good portion of every day with.
So naturally I wrote a little Seussian poem about it. I hope you enjoy….
There’s a myriad of ways to describe Employee Engagement and a plethora of experts, authors and consultants willing to bend your ear on the subject. Words and phrases such as ‘over and above’, ‘morale’, ‘enthusiasm’, ‘loyalty’, ‘happy’ and ‘extra mile’ get tossed out there like promises from a politician up for election.
Hmmm, perhaps that’s not a fair analogy as these fine folks do in fact care about their audience. They want to help people understand what engagement is. They want to help the business determine where there may be problems. They want to see engagement levels improve.
The various expressions, metaphors and idioms articulated, probably have a personal meaning to those who espouse them and the people they have previously worked with. So in essence they are all true and make up the bigger, more holistic explanation of what engagement is.
In 1943 Abraham Maslow first brought his Hierarchy of Needs theory to the world in which he looks at what motivates individuals.
He claimed that people are motivated by things and circumstance that range from basic survival up through up to the ability to reach and achieve one's full potential.
That sounds like something which could be applied in the workplace to elevate employee's motivation from simply being there to get a paycheck all the way up to performing at a very high level...
...and actually enjoy doing it.
Wouldn't it be great if we could simply give each employee a little medication that would boost leadership and engagement as well as happiness, teamwork, commitment and productivity?
Yes, an Employee Engagement pill would be a dream come true for all of us.
But while there may not be a magic elixir to ignite and galvanize the workforce, you don't need a Ph.D in chemistry to make positive change in staff behavior and performance.
Workplace Wellness programs are all the rage these days – and rightly so.
You don't need to be a doctor, analyst or accountant to realize that healthier employees are going to take less sick days and be more productive while at work....which obviously helps the bottom-line.
And it's also true that for many employees, a healthier body also leads to less stress, emotional well-being and a happier mindset.
Simply put, a fit and healthy workforce makes good business sense.