Blog » May 2017 » So you care about your people...seriously?

So you care about your people...seriously?

Making loads of money is what motivates your people most right? Well no actually. Whilst it might be the major motivator for business, when it comes to people money merely satisfies the basic needs in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Take Jenny an experienced Operations Manager and what she said about her recent pay-rise…”the extra money doesn’t really recognise that I have sold my soul to this company. But it certainly helps me breathe a little easier knowing that I can pay my mortgage and a bit more of my credit card bills at the end of the month”.

Meaning has become the new money. According to the Harvard Business Review, what motivates people most is meaning. To engage in work that is meaningful, purpose-driven, aligned to their values and therefore deeply fulfilling. It is not just Millennials who desire this. Meaning is important to all generations.

Do you find yourself asking these questions?

In a world with increased social and political upheaval, business disruption, growing numbers of redundancies and mounting workplace stress and anxiety more and more people at different levels are starting to ask these kinds of questions.

·     Why am I doing this work? 

·     What is the point? 

·     What value am I really creating?

·     Why am I always compromising and putting work before me, my family, my community, my health, my everything else?

·     When is it my turn for the chopping block?

I know you care but…

You are a person first and a manager second right. So of course you “care” about your employees. But how does this show up in the workplace when according to Gallup up to 87% of employees are not highly engaged. How can this be true when according to the Wharton School of Business, 88% of employees worldwide feel their employer does not care for them as a person.

The tricky part is sometimes the priorities and pressures our organisations are facing make it hard for manager's to focus on individual needs. But it doesn’t have to be this way and besides in Australia we cannot afford to continue to operate our businesses like this. Unless we become more human-centred both with our employees and customers we will not compete in a technologically and digitally disrupted world.

The consequence for your business will mean that the workforce is not contributing what they are capable of and living up to their potential. Employees certainly wont be coming up with ideas for process improvement, product innovation or taking on those extra responsibilities. A lack of innovation and growth will impede our ability to survive technological disruptions.

But wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could elicit greater levels of contribution from our workforce. Yes of course it would be great… but it won’t happen unless you start to change the way you manage people and enhance the quality of conversations you have with your people. The last five years of running anonymous engagement surveys prove that organisations rarely transform with just this strategy. 

Instead of focusing on “we” you need to focus on “me”.

It won’t change unless our workplaces emphasise human-centred priorities and stop making productivity, performance and profits elements that need to be worshipped above all else. You won’t find out what is important to me unless you are prepared to genuinely have a conversation that explores the uniqueness and individuality of members of your team.

Time to demonstrate you care by changing your intention and actions

There are three simple steps you can take as a manager to demonstrate your care and in doing so significantly boost the engagement levels within your business:

1.    Clear Intention: Demonstrate a clear intention that you care – genuinely care not just about outputs and outcomes but demonstrate in your language, behaviours and actions that you care also about “people” – their experience of the work, hopes, dreams, aspirations and concerns.

2.    Hold your people accountable: Care enough for your people to hold them responsible for their engagement. Meaningful work is incredibly personal. You are not going to know what is meaningful for your employees. They possibly won’t know either. So help them become more self-aware of what motivates them by completing a specialised engagement and career enrichment development tool called the individual Role Engagement and Alignment Profile (iREAP).

3.    Change the nature of your conversations. Conversations about performance, goals and outcomes are important of course but they tend to be about what you expect rather than what you can give. Try having a career and engagement conversation with them to unravel insights about their experiences of work, aspirations, hopes, dreams and concerns. Together create work opportunities that more effectively align their values and motivations and create a more compelling pathway within the business.

As a first step why not check it out and complete the IREAP tool yourself and have a confidential debrief and coaching session. Perhaps the first step in demonstrating you care is to care about yourself enough to have a career engagement conversation with your manager.

Send me an email to find out how you can start enriching your own experience of work and then start giving more to others.

Posted: 24/05/2017 1:33:05 PM by Pamela Frost


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