All of us have either had a job we despised or knew someone who was severely disengaged at their work. It’s a painful situation for both the employee and employer.
The manager has to constantly hound the employee to get back to work, and the employee is constantly looking to “get away” either physically or mentally.
Both people feel trapped, annoyed, frustrated, and what this does to the company’s bottom line isn’t productive either. There is a severe lack of creativity, innovation, and problem solving in this situation.
So what can be done?
The first principle to know is that every person has a set of strengths. But I wouldn’t just call them strengths, I would call them something much deeper, they are innate, they are activities that the person finds fulfilling, engaging, and they are willing to endure difficult challenges to do these activities. These are activities that they deeply Value, it’s their purpose, it’s their identity, it’s who they are. They do these things habitually without conscious thought, and they don’t even know they are doing them.
For simplicities sake, let’s call them their VALUES, because it’s what they deeply value.
The second principle that we must acknowledge is that we as humans only do what we think serves us and fulfills our VALUES. And often we make the mistake of ignoring our true strengths, our values, so we can earn a living.
We end up with a laundry list of daily activities, that in our perception, don’t fulfill our values.
Did you catch that? I said, in our perception they don’t fulfill our values.
This is Key!
Because if you can shift your employees perception, and communicate to them in a way that demonstrates how it serves their values, they will become engaged, determined, innovative, and creative.
Let’s do an example. Let’s say an employee doesn’t like cleaning the shop or taking out loads of garbage.
But he has a value on hockey, in his spare time he plays hockey quite seriously.
What you do is help him to see how doing these activities will benefit his hockey, his Values.
What do they have in common? Physical ability, speed, hand eye coordination, strength and endurance training, breath control, pushing yourself physically and mentally to not give up, the list goes on.
Once he sees how his most despised job activity is actually a service to his own values, he will be totally engaged and you won’t need to motivate him anymore, he will do it spontaneously.
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