From Thanksgiving until New Year’s Day – it’s the season for taking people out to lunch! The end of November and all of December is filled with strategic planning retreats, celebratory meals, and holiday festivities and appreciation parties. The absence of these things makes employees worry. But don’t be fooled – the presence of these activities does not make for an engaged workforce.
What we now know about truly engaging employees at all organizational levels is that is engagement has nothing to do with celebrations and team building. It has everything to do with trust, and organizational goals that inspire, drive, and connect with employees’ daily activities.
Every workplace has some declaration of mission and values. But there is a big difference between employees who paint the fence and those who paint masterpieces. If your employees are performing tasks for money – you probably have more fence painters than artists.
The difference between task-based jobs and meaningful jobs is what many organizations are searching for. Initiative and creativity is what they need and want. How to get from a task-based job to values-based undertaking is the challenge. Executives, managers, supervisors, HR Directors, and employees are all facing the challenge.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for holiday celebrations, planning sessions, and connecting over a meal – whether it’s to ring out 2012 or ring in 2013. Have at it!
AND – be very vocal about the most important goals your organization is working towards. Help employees at every level determine how what they do each day connects to those goals. Develop trust by making sure that your organization’s mission is the key focus of every business activity, interaction, and decision. You may see a pivot from fence painters to artists.
I’ll toast that!