One Question; INCREDIBLE Impact on Employee Engagement
It seems Einstein was correct about the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.
If you are in a leadership position you’ve no doubt come to realize that inspiring others to improve is not dissimilar to Einstein’s experiments with perhaps one notable exception: we seem to continually do the same thing over and over resigned to achieving the same results.
I read an article* today about Employee Engagement wherein they told a story about one software sales executive who asked his employees every week, “How happy are you at work this week and how can we make things better?” He said he could predict the next week’s sales based on the feedback received.
If you’re not in management, how does this question apply to you?
- Ask yourself, “How happy are you at work and how can you make things better?”
- Query your immediate supervisor, “How happy are you with my work and how can I improve’?
- Ask co-workers, “Is there anything I can do that would help you with your work?”
- We care about your happiness.
- We want to know how we can make things better.
- It’s up to you to tell us what you need.
Roots of “insanity”
Getting the same results over and over start with the questions we pose. Our brains are problem-solving mechanisms and designed to answer whatever questions are posed.
If you have people reporting to you and you continually wonder, “What is WRONG with these people? Why can’t they just do what I ask of them?” your mind will come up with multiple answers (none of them pleasant) to those questions. If instead you think, “I know they want to do good work. What can I do to help them get there?” your mind will come up with multiple answers that are significantly more hopeful and productive. If you then ask each team member, “How happy are you at work this week and how can we make things better?” you will have not only your mind working on finding solutions but also multiple minds and that can only result in solutions for improvement.
Experiment – try something new
Stop what you’re doing for a moment and consider what a difference this question might make in your organization.
Your team knows what they need and they have good ideas. Why not create an environment where they can share them with you and with each other to support a team goal of improving the work, the organization and the team’s satisfaction?
Your challenge: for the next three months carve out time every week to ask your team (or yourself) this question. Friday seems like a good day but that’s up to you. Watch what happens. Track what happens. See if there are tangible results in terms of productivity or accuracy. Look also for less measurable signs like employee morale and teamwork.
If you want to know what your team wants and needs to do their best work, try something new – ask them!