What’s so important about human experience in the workplace? Well, everything.
If you are looking to retain great talent, to reinforce healthy and positive culture, and to rise above the competition, then helping your employees find meaning in their work is non-negotiable.
But aren’t you doing this this through providing a great employee experience? No.
Employee engagement initiatives continue to take main stage to respond to and encourage employee motivation, commitment, and the quality of contribution at work. A lot of money and energy have been poured into these endeavors, but we aren’t seeing the results we had hoped for. Why is this?
The truth is, employee engagement initiatives aren’t working, because we feel we can elevate employee engagement by providing attractive perks and rewards. And these don’t respond to the real need.
Recent research findings from Deloitte’s 2019 Global Human Capital Trends examines this challenge. The writers show that employee motivation is driven by career, purpose, and meaning from work.
This means we need to enhance the human experience for each and every employee. Impossible task? Not really.
We simply need to help the employee answer the following questions:
Do I belong to the team, to the organization?
Who are we and why do we belong together? As leader, you can work with your team members to answer these questions through the way you define and live your mission and shared values. See the article “Does Your Team Live Up to Its Values” for a great way to make this come alive.
Am I safe?
Do I work in a trusting environment with individuals whom I respect and who respect me? Every employee must feel they can work together with their team without doubt or reservation, and to know team members can count on each other. This means ensuring a culture of high trust. How well do you and your company measure up? Take the time to examine the components of trust and see where your energy and efforts need to focus – this one thing changes everything at the individual, team, and organizational levels.
DO OTHERS REALLY TRUST YOU?
Learn the two vital parts to trust and how they can help you become a more highly effective leader.
GET THE INFOGRAPHIC
Do I make a difference to the larger picture?
Am I able to use my gifts and strengths in a role allowing me to contribute in a way that makes an impact? Ensuring right job fit and design is just part of this. Reinforcing the contributions of the individual means to teach your employees to recognize the efforts of others and to express this as part of your culture. When was the last time that you told a member of your executive team how they made a difference to the larger picture? Your culture must reflect this at all levels.
Together, do we bring something of value to the world?
Do we as a team and company contribute something that makes a difference to the world? Ask yourself why your company exists. If the answer to your “why” is to make money or products, then you are in trouble. How does the service or product your business offers make a difference for your customers? What are they able to do, live, enjoy that they wouldn’t otherwise? The answers to this must be understood and communicated regularly to your entire employee base. For a refresher on how to define this, read Sinek’s book Start with Why, or see his TED talk “How Leaders Inspire Action.”
Is there room for me to grow here?
One of the top concerns of a thriving CEO is to define and articulate clear career paths within the company to inspire and motivate your employees. These CEOs also make sure that their learning and development efforts include relevant personal and professional growth offerings. How do your L&D efforts measure up? And if you think your employees can’t take time for this, think again. Best companies are making sure their people have this available through regular face-to-face and virtual instruction with a coach approach to ensure that true learning occurs. The rewards are exponential.
What kind of human experience are you offering to your employees?
I suggest that as you start out on the path to providing something of great meaning and value, that you begin by personally answering the five questions above. Walking the talk will not only help you to integrate human experience as culture, it will also help you to personally become more motivated and engaged as you lead these efforts.
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Patti Cotton helps executives optimize their effectiveness in leading self, others, and the enterprise. Her areas of focus include confidence, leadership style, executive presence, effective communication, succession planning, and masterful execution. With over 25 years of leadership experience, both stateside and abroad, Patti works with individuals, teams, and organizations across industries, providing executive consulting, leadership development, succession planning, change management, and conflict resolution. She is also an experienced Fortune 500 speaker. For more information on how Patti Cotton can help you and your organization, click here.