Author : Bev Mileham, Chief Happiness Officer and General Manager, Biz Group
After reading the book ‘The Truth About Employee Engagement’ by Patrick Lencioni. I highly recommend it, it’s a quick and easy read with a very powerful and valuable message.
Lencioni cites three elements, Anonymity, Irrelevance and Immeasurement, which, if not addressed will constitute a miserable job. However, when applying the opposite, you can potentially create a fulfilling job with purpose and meaning.
Replacing Anonymity with Genuine Interest: When people feel anonymous or unknown, i.e. just a number, they feel lonely and uncared for. How well do you really know your people? Do you know what they do outside of work on the weekends? Do you know the names of their children? Have you taken a personal interest in what their hobbies are? When people feel that you are genuinely interested in them as an individual, when they feel you sincerely care for them as a person and they are valued, trust will increase and so will their happiness. By increasing care, trust and empathy, Oxytocin will be released which is one of the happiness chemicals released by the brain. In addition to this, by getting to know them better, you will be able to tap more into their strengths and passion creating more engagement and happiness.
Replacing Irrelevance with Purpose and Meaning: When people feel their job is irrelevant or they don’t understand the purpose of their job, they lose interest, motivation and become disengaged. They need to feel connected to the purpose of the role and the higher purpose of the organisation. Millennials in particular will ask the question “Why?” or “What is the purpose of doing this?” Each and every person in your organisation is serving someone, and it needs to be clearly defined as to who each person is serving and why and how. I will give you a simple example. We renamed our receptionists to ‘Chief First Impressions Officers (CFIOs)’. The title in itself makes them feel more valued. Our Core Purpose at Biz Group is Enriching Lives. As Chief First Impressions Officers, whose lives are they enriching? They have the opportunity to enrich the life of every single person who walks into our reception area at Biz Group – by simply making the welcome experience the best and most genuine on the planet! You can do this for each and every position – who are you serving? Who are you impacting? Are you aware of the difference and the impact you can make? Are you aligned with the purpose of your job and the purpose of the organisation?
Replacing ‘Immeasurement’ with Measurement: If you have no way of assessing how you’ve done on any given day, potentially you could be going home feeling unfulfilled. Having an easy measurement for people to manage themselves will keep them engaged and give them a feeling of accomplishment. Back to the CFIOs, they have a simple ‘Smile-O-Meter’ and they are on a mission to get each person who enters reception to smile. This includes customers, guests, staff, delivery guys, maintenance people, everyone! When the visitor smiles, they give themselves a tick on their smile-o-meter for that day, if not they give themselves a cross. If, however they get the visitor to laugh, they give themselves four ticks. It’s amazing how something so simple keeps them not only engaged, but excited to achieve their purpose. They can track their own progress and feel fulfilled at the end of each day when adding up their daily smile score. This can easily be done for any given job as long as it’s completely relevant to their daily tasks and overall purpose. This feeling of quick moment by moment mini achievements releases a constant flow of Dopamine which is also one of the happiness chemicals.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if all your people were inspired to come to work every day, happy and engaged and love what they do while there, and feel fulfilled when they go home? This is what we call a Happy And Engaging Place To Work.
Check out our Culture and Engagement training courses to find out more about how you can build a culture that is happy and engaging.