The folk at Voice Project have an impressive track record. In a recent blog post they share from their research the great positive effect that increased employee engagement has on profitability.
Employee engagement is an outcome. What really interests me is the actions that lead to the outcome.
7 such actions stand out from my work with more than 500 organisations since 1991. All actions are counter-intuitive and often fly in the face of the status quo.
The premise that must precede the actions
People are not numbers, overheads, expenses, resources, assets or capital. These are all a false premises that lead to less than possible results. We are all flesh and blood, alive human beings with needs, want, fears and aspirations. Any actions to increase employee engagement must be preceded by seeing and treating people as people.
Fool-proof action number 1 that guarantees increased employee engagement
I find the Platinum Rule a great insight into the power of this first action which is to help people achieve what is important to them.
Platinum Rule creator Dr. Tony Alessandra says:
“We have all heard of the Golden Rule-and many people aspire to live by it. The Golden Rule is not a panacea. Think about it: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." The Golden Rule implies the basic assumption that other people would like to be treated the way that you would like to be treated.
The alternative to the Golden Rule is the Platinum Rule:
"Treat others the way they want to be treated." Ah hah! What a difference. The Platinum Rule accommodates the feelings of others. The focus of relationships shifts from "this is what I want, so I'll give everyone the same thing" to "let me first understand what they want and then I'll give it to them."
Here is the thing. Your employees don’t care about the goals of your business relative to their own goals and yet in most organisations when we create development plans with employees they are all about the organisation!
In all development plans with your employees focus on both personal and organisational goals. Place initial emphasis on helping people to achieve what is important to them, their personal goals. The great paradox of this approach is that when people genuinely feel we are helping them to achieve their goals they will increase their efforts to help us achieve ours.
Zig Ziglar captured this brilliantly long ago when he said "You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want."
Summary and action
Treat people as people, never as numbers, overheads, expenses, resources, assets or capital.
Help people achieve their personal goals. If you do this genuinely it won’t be long before people are more engaged and increasing their efforts to help you to achieve your goals.
Be the difference you want to see in the world.
PS If you need help with this first action please contact me and/or consider joining the Talent Enhancers Tribe.