Guest Post by Eddie Coulson
There are thousands of organizations across the globe that have mediocre or poor leadership, and many of them survive day-to-day, month-to-month and year-to-year. These organizations – from schools to software development firms to financial institutions and beyond – simply rely on people getting their work done. Whether an employee is engaged or active is of no real concern to the organization.
Moving Beyond Survival
Some organizations, however, not only survive, they thrive. Why?
Some organizations believe they have a responsibility for their employee’s quality of life, not just providing a fair paycheck. Employees in these work environments are much more likely to be committed to, and involved with, their work than those organizations that simply trudge along from day-to-day.
The research Daniel Pink highlights and the research conducted by Gallup point to a few conclusions that should drive leaders in their work. In fact, it is very clear, yet not quickly or easily done, how to get employees engaged or active in their work.
Quick insights from Gallup and Daniel Pink:
“Currently, 13% of employees across 142 countries worldwide are engaged in their jobs — that is, they are emotionally invested in and focused on creating value for their organizations every day.” State of the Global Workforce Report 2013, Gallup
“While the overall organization may set lofty goals for engagement, leaders must make these objectives meaningful to employees’ day-to-day experience to bring engagement to life.” State of the Global Workforce Report 2013, Gallup
“…it’s bad business strategy. These supposedly hard-headed businesses who claim to value facts and evidence are actually in many ways abiding by folklore about what really motivates people. What’s at stake is whether business decides to run by folklore or science. I’ll take science. The continued overuse of carrots and sticks puts businesses on a path that is extraordinarily dangerous.” Daniel Pink, How to Stay Motivated — and Get That Bonus, WSJ
Emotionally Connected, Purpose Engaged
Employees must be emotionally connected to their work. And, here’s the thing, employees don’t get emotionally connected to their work simply because you tell them to do so. An emotional connection to work speaks to the fact that employees must understand and connect to WHY they are doing what they are doing.
As Gallup puts it, “Great managers help employees understand how every role in the organization connects to the customer through the company’s mission and purpose.”
Employees who don’t see the opportunity to see a bigger purpose will, most likely, be those that trudge along day in and day out. A company full of “trudgers” is a place of “trudgery” to work.
I love this image! The person signing all the students’ yearbooks in this picture is not the principal or the PE coach. It’s the custodian of the school. Why? Because the custodian understands that his purpose is to make a contribution to the lives of the students, not just clean the school.
An accounts payable clerk that simply believes his/her job is to pay the bills will not be engaged or active in their work; they will simply be doing their job. A leader has to connect the product being manufactured or the service provided to a purpose beyond the actual work of developing good or providing services.
Why Engagement Matters
Why does being engaged or active in work matter? Gallup estimates that billions of dollars are lost each year to employees that are not engaged or active in their work. And, besides, it just makes sense that organizations should be concerned about the quality of life of their people.
An organization that doesn’t want their employee’s lives to be fulfilled is missing the whole point of life, I think. Life should be a fulfilling adventure both inside and outside work.
What are successful organizations doing to activate this fulfilling adventure?
Note: Eddie’s post was in response to my earlier one entitled “Why Leaders Get Employee Engagement Wrong.” Thank you, Eddie, for adding to the conversation.
Dr. Eddie Coulson is a partner in the consulting firm N2 Learning. Eddie has a passion for developing leaders who are driven by their heart, their mind and their expertise. He works with organizations to identify how leaders can transform their organizations to get employees active and excited about their work.
Connect with Eddie via Twitter @ekcoulson and @n2learning and through email at email@example.com.
Join the Conversation
Effective Leadership isn’t Essential for an Organization’s Survival
Leadership is a quality that everyone should process. Being a leader is not cushy along with it comes responsibility and accountability. Leaders have the responsibilities to maximize the potential of the people with whom they graft & encouraging them to follow the wisdom of others. Leader should be honest and integrated in order to succeed and inspire others to follow them.
• Vision. A smashing leader must bring vision to life 4 that they must be future focused i.e. they must know, what is to be done, How it is to be done & For whom it is to be done. This can be done by casting their vision and ensuring that they have the right people in right place.
• Emotional Intelligence. Good leader is always wiser with people with whom they work with for this they must be well versed with Emotional Intelligence skills. True leader should know how to use power of other people emotions along with their own this will help them more productivity and collaboration which will help them to grow further.
• Effective Communication Skills. Savvy leaders are the one who is a mint listener, ask question and speaks if something is to be said. In leadership communication is a key, leader must be able to communicate with others but being a mint listener will surely going to help.
• Inspiring Gratitude, Personal Responsibility, and Sacrifice in your Corporation are essentials leadership at work.
Mr Chris Salamone https://goo.gl/S8dMjD formerly served as a faculty member at Loyola University Chicago School of Law and the National Institute of Trial Advocacy, and served as a leadership curriculum adviser at The University of Central Oklahoma. Chris Salamone works to improve the lives of young people around the world through his many philanthropic endeavors. He functions as chairman of the Lead America Foundation and extends a considerable amount of financial support to fund the education of 300 children in Haiti.