Employee engagement is a hot trending human resource topic lately and we should welcome the intentions of the places adopting it. However, I believe we have reached a point in history that offers the early adopters a paradigm shifting return on investment.
Common sense says, you have to have the right person for the right job. And criteria exists for finding and sorting those applicants through traditional resume and interview processes. Some company have taken this even further to see if applicants are an “emotional fit” for the firm’s culture.
However once hired, little on-going effort is placed on making sure that employee understand their unique purpose at that organization. This recently got more focus due to studies stating happy employees are 12% more productive. More disturbing is unhappy employees are 10% less productive which brings more attention to the importance of morale issues. The sad truth today is the vast majority of working adults do not enjoy their work.
Employee engagement, however is more of a focused spotlight as opposed to opening up all of your employees to the nourishing sunlight that employee fulfillment can be offer them.
Employee fulfillment is the future. We see younger millennials constantly asking for the meaning of their work and are quick to quit if they don’t easily find it.
So what easier way to turn things around, but by giving your employees meaning to their roles?
I remember witnessing the receptionist’s reaction, at my first employer’s firm when the owner simply smiled and leaned across her desk to say, “Do you realize how important your work is to me personally? You are the first impression our new customers get when they call us. You welcome all of our existing customers. You are the first thing our employees hear when they call in to be routed to a specific department. Your smiling face is the first thing anyone sees when they enter this office. I spent a lot of time making sure you were the right person for this job and have been so thrilled by your performance so far. Keep up the excellent work!”
That statement took under a minute for the owner to deliver, but the effects were like a pebble dropping in the water. Everyone in ear shot of it, was floored by the absolutely kindness of the words. The story was passed own like wildfire through the water cooler track. The receptionist on the receiving end of those words was so lit up with new energy that transformed here demeanor and her voice immediately..forever.
Employee fulfillment is more than just financial incentives to motivate employees. Its about giving meaning to the time they are trading to be away from their families, friends and doing things they love. As you saw with the story above, every role in an organization has a purpose to the whole. How often do your current employees know this purpose?
As Sir Richard Bronson says:
“Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your clients.”