Welcome to the Feelings Economy: where emotions—not rational thoughts—are linked to employee performance.
Science shows us that people make decisions based on their emotions (and then often justify them with rational thinking). Consequently, our behaviours can best be understood as an attempt to get our emotional needs met.
Therefore, the most important thing leaders in the workplace can do is create an environment that fulfils their employees’ driving needs.
But how can leaders build these conditions, let alone understand what those driving needs are?
The answer is simple: ask them.
Unlocking needs through quick conversations
If you had 60 discretionary minutes you weren’t counting on, what would you do with them?
That one-hour timeframe could be used to engage six employees in simple, systematic engagement conversations—essentially, six 10-minute discussions where you can ask them “What do you need to feel energized in your role?” (Note: this isn’t quite the same as an energy check, but a less structured way to check-in with your employees.)
Unfortunately, I see far too many managers use their time unwisely. Many would use that one-hour timeframe to dive into the pile on their desk and/or do something that would make them 10% more productive.
Conversely, by conducting those six 10-minute chats, you could make each employee 10% more productive for the day.
Managers need to stop defining themselves by how much stuff they can clear off their desk—and focus more on building the conditions that release the energy of their employees. In other words, leaders need to turn the corner from individual contributor to one who contributes through others.
And a short chat to ask employees about their driving needs is just one way to do it.
The employee experience
Keep in mind: it doesn’t matter to employees whether their organization is making a meaningful contribution, achieving great results, or taking efforts to value its workers.
What matters to employees is their own experience: that is, whether they themselves are making a meaningful contribution, achieving great results, and/or being valued.
We call this the employee experience—and it’s what fuels everything that makes your organization sustainable including the customer experience, breakthrough innovations, quality of products and services, and financial health.
By engaging employees on an emotional level—that is, simply asking them what motivates and drives them—you are effectively energizing them to make better decisions and behaviours that produce great results.
Want to learn more about Beyond Engagement? Check out this video.
Co-Founder of Juice Inc, Thought Leader & Author
Co-Founder of Juice Inc.
Vice President, Business Development
Business Development, Juice USA
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