How many people do you know that are miserable in their work? Even when people set up their own business it doesn’t always feel like the vision they created in their head before they made the leap… Its great that these days more and more companies are beginning to consider employee engagement. However it is often as a nice to have add-on, rather than how they run their business.
Some of the answer to this misery may be what is highlighted by one of my favourite business authors, Patrick Lencioni. He explains that overcoming the ‘Three Signs of a Miserable Job’ may be the answer:
- Anonymity – I’ve said for years that ‘Business is Personal’. If you manage and work with people then get to know them, take a genuine interest in them as a person, not just as a worker. You don’t have to go out drinking every Friday but at least understand their personal circumstances and acknowledge them as a person as regularly as possible. Those with Blaze energy (Star, Supporter and Deal-Maker) will most likely happily talk about their personal life, yet Steel (Accumulator, Lord, Mechanic) may be a bit more reticent to reveal themselves until they really know and trust you.
- Irrelevance – think about the rock stars, actors, athletes that often end up on the rocks. Many people think they would love their lives. They are usually doing work they love, getting more money than they can count and often have adoring fans. Could it be because they don’t really feel needed? When people understand the contribution they are making to another person, or group of people that brings immense satisfaction and fulfilment. Often when our clients first do a Talent Dynamics programme some staff who are usually in the background and not very proactive suddenly come alive – they now know where and when they add value.
- Immeasurement – it is incredibly helpful for people to be able to measure for themselves how good a job they are doing. In many organisations they only find out once a year usually in an (often painful) exercise called an appraisal. Instead you could have team members clear on and owning accountabilities (particularly ones that get and keep them in flow!). Work out with them simply daily/weekly measures that allow them to assess their own progress. (An ongoing measure of the level of trust and flow within and between teams will really help to improve measurement and performance across the board.)
When it comes to measurement, the profiles that are more detail-oriented and systematic (Tempo and Steel energies) are more likely to create measures. However if their work situation doesn’t allow for that they’ll feel the lack of it more. The Dynamo and Blaze energies are less likely to naturally measure anything, however will really benefit from the focus that measurement brings. All profiles will benefit from the daily self-feedback they get from simple meaningful measures.