“The organizations that successfully show employees the link between the purpose of their work and the strategy for achieving their goals, unleash their maximum potential.” Rich Horwath
This is a great quote from Rich Horwath in his book Deep Dive. He makes it very clear that the “one thing” every business needs to be successful is to clearly show employees the link between their work and how it contributes to achieving the overall business strategy. In doing this, you engage the employee, at their level in the organization, to contribute to a cause that is greater than themselves. They can clearly see and buy into what the organization is doing and what it stands for.
Business leaders have spent a lot of time and money struggling to find a way to get their employees really engaged at work. I have seen and heard of things like;
- Free meals for employees
- Open workspace concepts
- Virtual offices (tele-commuting)
- Bonus incentives
- Share options
- High salaries
- Onsite gyms, daycare, healthcare, basketball courts, ping pong tables, video game lounges, etc.
These are things that definitely make employees happier and create a fun work environment. However, a fun work environment and happy employees does not mean that your employees are engaged at work.Deep down, every human wants to live for a purpose larger than themselves and to achieve something greater than a paycheck every two weeks. By clearly communicating to employees how their work contributes to achieving a great business vision, leaders are providing purpose to each employee. This purpose will result in a deeper engagement in the work that each employee is responsible for. An engaged workforce will differentiate your business in the marketplace and unleash the full potential of the business itself (assuming, of course, that the basics are covered; safety, fair wage and benefits, etc.) .
Business leaders can “kick this up a notch” further by applying the other two components of what Daniel Pink calls Motivation 3.0; Mastery and Autonomy. We have talked about the first component, Purpose, above.
- Mastery is the ability that an employee has to become the absolute best and market leader in their area of expertise. Mastery is facilitated by a work environment that encourages learning and excellence.
- Autonomy is provided by creating an environment where the employees have the ability to direct their scope of work without much oversight or interference. Pink summed this up by stating “Giving people sovereignty over what they do, when they do it, how they do it, where they do it, who they do it with. To me, it is the secret in the workplace of engagement.”
Do the one thing this week that will unleash the full potential of your business. Begin to clearly communicate to employees how their work contributes to achieving a great business vision and then kick this up a notch by taking steps to implement an environment that encourages Mastery and Autonomy.