“I’m Putting a Man on the Moon.”
There is a story, that’s truthfulness remains to be seen, but which relays employee engagement perfectly. It is about a janitor who worked at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the 1960s. He was performing well above standards, and was noticed by management to be extremely dedicated to his work. When President Kennedy came to visit the facility, he also noticed the janitor, and asked the man what he was doing. To this, the janitor replied, “I’m helping put a man on the Moon.”
The work NASA was doing at the time was essential, not only to America, but to mankind as a whole. Because they had a purpose, and each person working for them understood that purpose, there was a sense of solidarity that stretched from the President to engineers to astronauts to janitors. This solidarity was key to making sure even the cleaning staff understood their foundational role in the organization, and all saw their place in putting a man on the Moon.
Defining Employee Engagement
This sense of solidarity, of feeling the importance of one’s role in the work environment, is employee engagement, and it is the job of the management to provide this atmosphere. In this way, we are able to create a place where employees want to work, where they want to succeed, and where they want to see the company succeed.
There are four elements involved with successful employee engagement, which may look different in each company. These include:
Trust: The employee must trust the company, and the company must trust the employee.
Integrity: The employees must have a solid work ethic, but the company must also be founded on a value system and built with integrity, particularly so the employees feel they are working toward a goal or for a company that stands for something.
Commitment: It’s detrimental to your employees’ work ethic to constantly feel like they are going to be fired. However, the company must also know that their employees are committed, and won’t quit at the drop of a hat.
Communication: Open communication is the foundation for growth. If company and employees can’t communicate, trust cannot be formed, integrity cannot be in place, and there will be no commitment on either end.
Being Genuine and What to Avoid
You can’t trick your employees into feeling any sort of allegiance to you or your company. In fact, using “proven” tactics, plans, and mechanical approaches to employee relations will often backfire on you. Instead, you need to work on producing a culture employees want to be a part of and having your company have a purpose that your employees are proud to represent.
When it comes to employee engagement, trust our management consulting team, locally operated in Denver, to guide you. Our years of experience, knowledge, and practice can help you produce a company where people want to work, so you can build a legacy, one employee at a time. Contact Transformation Point today to schedule your appointment.