Archives for May 2007
We must make our moments count in employee engagement.
According to Jon Kabat-Zinn, mindfulness is
paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally. This kind of attention nurtures greater awareness, clarity, and acceptance of present-moment reality. It wakes us up to the fact that our lives unfold only in moments. If we are not fully present for many of those moments, we may not only miss what is most valuable in our lives but also fail to realize the richness and the depth of our possibilities for growth and transformation.
Mindfulness is to engage fully in life and is integral to fully engaging in our work.
Photo Credit: Impermanenceby Josh Bonfili: http://flickr.com/photos/photomofo/364058611/
Employee Engagement: Monday Morning Percolator #14
The key concept from chapter four of Made to Stick is to make your ideas “edible” by you and the idea being credible. Employees will bite into employee engagement when they trust the message and the messenger. As a leader you need to establish and leverage trust in the name of employee engagement.
When you make your ideas tangible and concrete they become more real and more believable. A lot of credibility is in the details or story you tell — so do not neglect the vivid and specific “d-tale” of engagement.
Three specific tips in the chapter include:
- Make statistics accessible.
- Find a powerful example
- Get a testable credential.
There are many statistics on employee engagement ranging from overall levels of engagement to the costs of disengagement. Find a way to communicate this to employees in a way that they can readily grasp.
Here is an example taken from a poll of 23,000 employees cited in Stephen Covey’s, The 8th Habit:
- Only 37 percent said they have a clear understanding of what their organization is trying to achieve and why.
- Only 20 percent were enthusiastic about their team’s and their organization’s goals; said they have a clear link between their tasks and their team’s organizational goals; and, fully trusted the organization they worked for.
- Only 15 percept felt that their organization fully enables them to execute key goals
Stephen Covey made the idea sticky by using this soccer analogy:
If a soccer team had these same scores, only 4 of the 11 players on the field would know which goal is theirs. Only 2 of the 11 would care. Only 2 of the 11 would know what position they play and know exactly what they are supposed to do. And all but 2 players would, in some way, be competing against their own team members rather than the opponent.
With this analogy Covey makes you fully realize the impact of these numbers on teamwork in a specific and credible way.
When you speak about employee engagement find powerful examples that establish credibility. Use a testable credential. Have employees conduct an engagement experiment to see what the impact is for themselves, their performance, and their organization.
- Whenever you cite employee engagement statistics find a schema or analogy that the listeners or reader will be able to relate to.
- Make a testable credential offer to employees about engagement that they can try out to determine their own level of engagement.
- Use the Sinatra test. In the song “New York, New York,” Frank sings, If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere. In employee engagement, this would mean finding a strongly disengaged team or department and igniting their engagement. If you can make employee engagement work with the disgruntled team you can make it work anywhere.
Picture Credit: England away by http://flickr.com/photos/atomicshed/175638710/
Read David K. Reynolds passage from page 5 of Constructive Living:
You see, the fully functioning human being isn’t someone who is utterly free of pain and happy all the time. Not at all. The mature human being goes about doing what needs to be done regardless of whether that person feels great or terrible. Knowing that you are that kind of person with that kind of self-control brings all the satisfaction and confidence you will ever need. Even on days when the satisfaction and confidence just aren’t there, you can get the job done anyway.
Can you just do it?
Picture Credit: Mars: Endurance Crater by http://flickr.com/photos/toptechwriter/480791325/
In 2007 this blog is dedicated to the Brotherhood of the Rope. The excellent picture above shows Mount Everest in the middle with a dark shadow across the mountain. The large shadow across the mountain symbolizes the events that occurred close to the summit last year.
See my January 1 post on the Brotherhood of the Rope. The rope gives us the strength of connection to climb mountains while the Brotherhood of the Rope is the psychological and deeper connection we share with each other. David Sharp was left to die on Everest last year as 40 climbers went past him. As opposed to my thoughts about this situation I encourage you to read the following two posts:
- Banjo Bannon’s open letter to Everest Climbers: Remember David Sharp!
- Death on Everest: An Ethics Lesson.
Most of us will never be faced with a situation of this magnitude in such thin air with such high stress and so close to the summit of our lives. I am not so interested in our judgement of the climbers who kept climbing as in the application of this story to our daily interactions with those we encounter as we mount our own personal summits.
Grab the rope as you take care and carry on caring.
Picture Credit: Mt Everest at sunset Sagarmatha national park by http://flickr.com/photos/canuck01/108200219/