I am often asked what the key is to Employee Engagement. We start with reasonable pay and essential health benefits but those are simply qualifiers for satisfaction. Employee Engagement addresses the intangibles that go above and beyond “job requirements”. Employee Engagement speaks to the things that allow us to love our job:
• Recognition of Achievement
• Incentives to Drive Organizational Excellence
• An Organizational Culture that fits our personal life mission
With all of the aforementioned perks in place, our smiling workers may start asking….What’s next? Exactly! After you have won your employee’s trust you will need to guide them on the path. I will admit I have been guilty in the past of seeking promotions simply for the sake of professional validation – this is misguided motivation! Not all individual contributors will be great managers and not all managers will be great directors. In reality, not all employees love their job despite the opportunities you present to them. When you find that employee whose personal mission matches your company purpose, career development is the next step.
We all want to be happy in the workplace. We often affiliate happiness with comfort. I am continually surprised by professionals that feel they have all that they need in their current position. While this sentiment speaks directly to employee satisfaction, an employee cannot be genuinely engaged unless they are maximizing their true potential. So, allow me address the “comfortable” to help them understand why they owe it to themselves (and their company) to Engage!
“…I Don’t Want Any More Responsibility…”
Yes, you do! Everyone wants to challenge themselves beyond what others might define as possible. Unfortunately, we allow the previously defined “possible” to regulate our motivation. The easy path is to know you can do better but refuse to try for fear of scrutiny. The first step to becoming a Leader is the willingness to have your actions criticized. The easy thing to do is to sit on the sidelines with your arms folded…..Get in the Game!
“…What If I Fail…”
You will. It is impossible to progress without challenging yourself, falling short and learning from your experiences. With failure comes a redefining of what is possible and another opportunity to get it right. I know not of a company that has tapped an employee for promotion simply to see them fail. That’s crazy! Your organization would not risk a year of organizational planning and re-hiring costs for the sake of an impractical joke. Others often see in us what we have forgotten to notice. The first step to progress is the chance to do something better. Accept the challenge!
“…Then What, After This…”
Slow down! If you are too determined to climb the corporate ladder your motivation will become transparent. It is important to be part of something you believe in, to have your part in progress of this movement, and to accept where your irreplaceable skills are best applied. The first step to finding your place in this world is discovering what you do better than anyone else. You will not find the best company for you until you know who you are as a professional.
In Summary, the key to creating Engaged Leaders are….
1. Redefine what’s been promoted as possible
2. Accept failure as long as it creates the foundation for progress
3. Find your fit and maximize it
It kills me to see great employees leave companies because they wanted to do more and were never challenged to do so. Find your exceptional people and help them find their way!
Thank you for reading!
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