For many of us small business owners and entrepreneurs, we started our business from a deep core and purpose. Heck, even companies that are huge today started out small, and probably from some spark of passion.
That spark, that purpose, is what I call the Deeper Why.
We all have it personally, even if some of us search to clarify exactly what that it is.
And companies have it (or they should, in my opinion).
While I could maintain that most business owners and CEOs know their Deeper Why, what about all the employees and team members. Do they know the company’s Deeper Why?
I contend that when everyone on board understand the Deeper Why of a company and their particular part in it, they’ll be more engaged, more inspired, and more likely to root for the company they’re working for, and not be some mopey employee who just shows up to get a paycheck.
Want to create a culture which cultivates employee engagement? Here are the 5 Pillars of Enhanced Employee Engagement:
1. Understanding the company’s Deeper Why – Yes, I know I spent the introduction talking about the Deeper Why, but this #1 in engaging your employees and team members. What’s the Deeper Why? Why do you even have this business? Even if you have an HVAC company, your Deeper Why is to help people be comfortable in their homes and to help them live their lives – without having to worry about basic comfort. Now, imagine all the employees in that company fulfilling their duties from the place of wanting to help people live their lives and thrive.
2. Feeling that what they do is crucial to the company’s success – There’s a story that when President John F. Kennedy visited NASA, he stopped to ask a janitor, “What are you doing?” The janitor answered, “Helping put a man on the moon.” Because every job, every task is crucial. (Or else it shouldn’t be done.) If even the person keeping the books understands that her role is one part of a bigger whole, that makes what she does important. And she then feels important.
3. Being acknowledged – We’re all busy… and taking a few moments to say, “Good job!” or “There’s no way I could do that, and you just did it lickety-split… wow!” can do more to raise someone’s confidence and boost them up than you can believe. How do you feel when someone acknowledges your effort? Pretty darn good, right? Pass along those attaboys and attagirls to others.
4. Working in their Zone of Genius – If someone is in the wrong job for him, he’s going to hate it, and that resentment and slugging through mud is just going to increase. Instead, put that person to work in his Zone of Genius… put everyone to work in their respective Zones of Genius. And if you’re hiring, think about what Genius Skill you want the person in that position to have. And then look for that.
5. Positive relationships and effective communication – You can have all four of the above pillars, but if you don’t have this one, your foundation is rocky. People gotta get along with each other, or it doesn’t matter how invested in the Deeper Why they are or how often you tell them what a good job they’re doing. Foster open, positive communication, and do what you need to do in order to create solid working relationships. If you don’t know how to do that, then hire a consultant or company to come and help. It’s that important.
When you invoke all 5 Pillars, you are going to have a company that thrives…. because when people thrive, companies thrive.