Category: Employee Engagement

Our “Why” and Employee Engagement

A question came up recently about what the real difference is between employee engagement and employee satisfaction. In brief, satisfaction has to do with the “externals” i.e. pay, benefits, working conditions, job security. Engagement has to do with the “internals” i.e. purpose, “voice”, belonging, mastery. The numbers are sobering. Just over 50% of employees are satisfied and yet just over 30% are engaged. Could you imagine if we were 50% engaged? 75%? 90%? What an incredible opportunity! Every business on the planet has a mission to be fulfilled and capable, talented people to fulfill that mission. We must invest more time in talking about the “why” of what we do, not just what we do! Every employee wants to be a part of building something special, they want to be engaged. If they haven’t or don’t it’s because they haven’t found their “why” or, in some cases, don’t even know they have one! Let’s commit to helping each other find our “why”! And finding our “why” always starts by remembering we are here to serve others first. Let’s all find our “why”, get engaged in our work and, through our businesses, “be the change we want to see in the world!” hashtag#employeeengagementhashtag#businesshashtag#masteryhashtag#missions

Where Engagement Begins

To me, to be engaged at work means to care deeply about the outcome. To go “above and beyond”, to push yourself, to overcome the challenges and resolve the conundrums. To be engaged means seeing the bigger picture, and not just the “work”, but more importantly the purpose behind the work. To be engaged is to be a part of “building something special”. So where does real engagement begin? In the mind of each employee. They have to believe three things about themselves: They have been created for a greater purpose or mission. They have been given gifts and talents within which to fulfill that purpose. There is work prepared in advance for them to do. Put simply, each person has a purpose, they can fill that purpose and there is work out there, their position, that they need to do. The problem is, in many cases, when we look for someone to join our company, we look at who has the background, education, and experience to do the job. That’s not bad, it’s just not enough. The real question isn’t “can we fill this job?” Or “can I get this job?” The real question is “are we supposed to be working together?” Are they supposed to join us in fulfilling our mission and can we help them in fulfilling their mission? In an employer/employee relationship, it comes down to three things: Competence: Can they do the work and can we do the work together? Character: Can they be in it to serve others first as we serve others first? Chemistry: Do they “get” us and do we “get” them? It doesn’t work if they can’t do the work. It also doesn’t work if they’re selfish or we’re selfish. And it really doesn’t work if they don’t understand or, in some cases, don’t like what we do. Engagement is relatively simple but it isn’t easy. We need to speak directly to their competence, character, and chemistry and finish by asking whether or not we’re supposed to work together! Based on the numbers, almost 70% of employees out there would benefit greatly by being where they belong. Can you imagine how productive we could be! When we find that person who has the competence, the character, and the chemistry and is supposed to join our team, we can’t help but to “build something special together”! hashtag#employeeengagement hashtag#buildsomethingspecial

The Work Around The Work

I believe that if you are able to work, we all rise because of that work. Work is a tremendous opportunity to put ourselves in the position of being a value to others. And that’s why we’re here: to serve others first. It’s also a dedicated formal vehicle where how we do our work is as valuable as the work we do. What do I mean? Well, let’s say your work is making hamburgers at a restaurant. The work is making the hamburger. What’s the work around the work? It could be a lot of things. How well you make the hamburger. How clean you keep your work area. How well you treat the customer, your teammates, and your boss. The great attitude you can bring to the job. All of these elements represent the work around the work.

How do we set our hearts and minds on doing the work and the work around the work? It comes down to what we perceive we’re a part of. If we’re just making hamburgers that’s one thing. If we’re helping feed a family before an important occasion or helping a business person grab a quick meal or helping someone celebrate a special day then that is something completely different. The work is the work and that’s important. But the work around the work? That’s where can do something really special!