The Strategist

Three conditions for employee engagement

01/10/2020 - 08:54

How are emotions, thoughts, and actions connected in the nervous system? When a reaction to a negative event engulfs us, it’s blinding. At this moment, we concentrate mainly on the source of pain. We cannot process information, think creatively and make the right decisions. Disappointment, anger and stress disconnect our part that is responsible for understanding and motivation. Intense negative experiences trigger neurophysiological and psychological mechanisms that lead to non-involvement.

But we must pay attention not only to unpleasant emotions. An euphoric state of mind can cause the same effect. Studies show that excessive enthusiasm reduces creativity and results in risky actions. Just remember how stupid we are when we fall in love.

How to increase employee engagement and effectiveness? Researchers at the Teleos Leadership Institute have studied dozens of organizations and interviewed thousands of people. The very first conclusions about the connection of feelings and involvement were striking. Employees need the same, regardless of origin, company or specialization.

Almost every respondent believes that for a complete engagement and happiness require several conditions. Here they are:

1. A complete view of the future

When the study participants were telling what worked and did not work in their organizations, which helped and hindered the most, they talked about this. People want to know what lies ahead and what place they will take.

This is called the effect of planned change.

It turned out that people are evolving and changing if their idea of the future coincides with the vision of the company. Unfortunately, many leaders are not able to think in the long term. Or they do not try to connect their views with the opinions of subordinates, and do not know how to interact with people. As a result, organizations lose good employees.

2. A sense of purpose

People want to understand that their work matters, that their contribution helps to achieve something truly valuable. Increasing shareholder value is an important and inspiring goal only for those who have reached the top of their careers. Ordinary employees also want to know that they and their company are doing something significant and useful for the rest.

3. Good relationship

People come to work in a company, but leave because of their leaders. Tensions between employees and bosses, hostility between colleagues are indeed unpleasant. All respondents — executives, mid-level managers, and ordinary executives — reported that emotional closeness, trust, and support influence their mood.

A favorable climate in the team inspires a desire to contribute to the common cause.

Brain science and company research have dispelled the old myth. Emotions are of great importance at work. Happiness is necessary. For full involvement, people need harmonious ideas about the future, meaning and healthy relationships.

The challenge for leaders is to create an environment in which people begin to flourish and succeed. It is very simple and very important: if you need involved employees, form an idea of the future, connect the work of people with the goal of organizing and encourage those who maintain a friendly atmosphere in the office.

Based on “HBR Emotional Intelligence Series (Mindfulness, Resilience, Influence and Persuasion, Authentic Leadership, Happiness, and Empathy)” by Daniel Goleman

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