Enliven Energy: Part of an 11 part series on how managers can improve employee engagement)
Energy. The raw material of engagement is energy. It takes energy to engage and authentic engagement contributes to our energy. Energy comes in a variety of forms: mental, emotional, physical, organizational, and spiritual. We must strive towards mastery of physical, mental, and emotional energy.
Here are five ways to be instill energy for employee engagement
- Power up your engagement through energy
- Energize through high-quality connections
- Mobilize energy and avoid traps
- Walk ten
- Ask the number one energy question of yourself and others
Power up your engagement through energy. In the past 10 years business and the workplace has had a strong focus on mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual energy. Although this is a relatively new focus for the workplace these 4 energies have been a strong part of the traditional medicine wheel used by First Nations People for hundreds of years. Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz wrote about the 4 energies in The Power of Full Engagement in 2003. This was one of my favorite earlier books on the topic of engagement. I appreciated their declarative statements ranging from energy, not time, is the fundamental currency of high performance to performance health and happiness are grounded in the skillful management of energy. They argued that to be fully engaged we must be physically energized, emotionally connected, mentally focused and spiritually aligned with a purpose beyond our immediate self-interest. They stated that physical capacity is the quantity of energy, emotional capacity is the quality of energy, mental capacity is the focus of energy, and spiritual capacity is the force of energy. We need lots of high quality energy to provide us with focus and force to achieve results. Loaded with suggestions, research and practical practices this book can help you transform and leverage your energy for full engagement.
Energize through high-quality connections. Jane Dutton from the Ross School of Business and a leader in positive organizational scholarship has done a lot of research and writing on energy in organizations. Energy is the sense of “being eager to act and cpable of action.” Dutton offers an evidenced based pathway to foster and enhance organizational energy through the strength of high-quality connections at work. Energy is a limited but renewable resource and managers can contribute immensely to energy creation. High-quality connections not only energize others and ourselves, they have a significant impact on well-being and lessen or eliminate corrosive connections. Everyday interactions build upon respectful engagement, task enabling, and trusting can bring dynamic vitality to engagement and organizational results.
Mobilize energy and avoid traps. Heike Bruch and Bernd Vogel outlined how leaders can boost their organization’s energy and ignite strong performance. Organizational energy is the force behind an organization or team works. The organizations must mobilize its emotional, cognitive, and behavioral potential. There are four states of energy based on intensity and quality: corrosive energy, resigned energy, comfortable energy, and productive energy. In productive energy, we see high levels of passion, mental agility, and effort aligned with organizational goals. Energy states are predictive of numerous gains in performance, productivity, efficiency, customer satisfaction, and customer loyalty. To maximize organizational energy, organizations must guard against three energy draining traps: over complacency, eroding corrosion, and never ending acceleration.
A charged conversation. Here is a recording of a conversation with the two authors on how to enhance organizational energy:
If the video does not load in this window, click here.
Walk ten. Robert E. Thayer wrote an insightful and well-researched book on energy and mood: Calm Energy: How People Regulate Mood with Food and Exercise. He conducted in-depth research on how we control mood and how often we control mood through food. Thayer demonstrated in a number of studies that a more powerful way to control mood and energy was by short periods of brisk walking — after just 10 minutes of brisk walking energy was significant increased for one hour. We much replenish our energy during the day and short periods of brisk walking or short periods of napping offer quick pathways to rejuvenating work.
Ask the number one energy question of yourself and others. Ask the primary energy question. Donald H. Graves spent a year studying the relationship between energy and teaching. He worte a great book on the energy to teach. In essence, he travelled around America asking teachers one basic question. I think this is the best question you can ask yourself and others to provide an open ended pathway to an energizing conversation. What gives you energy, what takes it away, and what for you is a waste of time? Of course, we must bring our responses to life by making changes and taking action.
Read these 5 sources to instill and create energy:
- Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz, The Power of Full Engagement
- Jane Dutton, Energize Your Workplace: How to Create and Sustain High-Quality Connections at Work
- Robert Thayer, Calm Energy
- Heike Bruch and Bernd Vogel, Fully Charged
- Donald H. Graves, The Energy to Teach
Conclusion to our 10 part series. This is the final post in this series on the pyramid of engagement. I trust you found it informative and valuable. A pyramid in not built in one day. During 2012 I will refine each block and offer the pyramid of engagement in keynotes, 1/2 day workshops, full day workshops, and intensive two day workshops. Isn’t it time you worked with a solid structure and evidenced-based practices to increase employee engagement?
Building the pyramid of employee engagement. Review the 10 previous posts listed below that built the ten block pyramid of employee engagement actions for managers:
- 12 Keys to Achieve Results with Employee Engagement
- 6 Ways Managers Can Maximize Performance through Employee Engagement
- 7 Significant Steps to Employee Engagement Progress
- 4 Ways Managers Can Build Relationship BACKbone into Employee Engagement
- Don’t Blink: How to Foster Recognition for Employee Engagement
- 6 Powerful moments of employee engagement
- How to leverage 5 pathways for strengths based employee engagement
- 8 powerful approaches to create meaningful employee engagement
- Employee engagement: Five prescriptions for well being
David Zinger built the 10 block pyramid of employee engagement to help managers bring the full power of employee engagement to their workplaces. If you would like to arrange to have this course or workshop for your organization or conference contact David today at 204 254 2130 or firstname.lastname@example.org.