12 most engaging investments for a more rewarding return

LL 90 engaging investmentsWhat is your primary goal as a leader?

Is it to advance your own career? If so, check the integrity of the wall your shaky ladder is leaning on. Self-promotion has no foundation and is often constructed of mere imagery. It has a tendency to crumble under pressure. (And then where are you? Looking up from the rubble, that’s where!)

Rather, is it not to actively engage and equip your followers to achieve results, to provide the training and support to do their jobs well, and to create the connections that entice them to want to do them? (Yeah: I thought you’d say so… Well, here we go then: all together up and over the top!)

Leaders are, in essence, asset managers who understand that our most valuable resources are our human resources. Without them, we’d have nothing and could do nothing!

So wise leaders apply a systematic process of coaching, training, engaging and otherwise investing in their team members to empower them to accomplish the results they set out together to achieve—in an environment where everyone loves going to work.

Sounds peachy! But let’s be realistic: that scenario is more the exception than the rule. Employee satisfaction surveys indicate that just 13 percent of workers are engaged, 63 percent are disengaged, and 24 percent are actively disengaged—hindering both productivity and profitability! Seventy percent of all employees are looking for other work!

So what, specifically, are they looking for? What makes a particular job better than another with the same purpose? And how can you as the leader attract, keep, equip and motivate your workers for the results you need?

Research has shown that what matters most to most people is not the job’s description, title, specific responsibilities or even the money. Those who are the most engaged—the ones who work harder, enjoy what they are doing, and contribute the most to the organization—find their fulfillment in tasks that:

•  offer emotional connection and spur emotional commitment;
•  both bestow and require personal responsibility; and
•  result in personal satisfaction and discretionary energy for other enriching life experiences.

See—it’s not so much the explicit duties that engage the worker, but how that individual is treated by his or her leader that enhances job satisfaction. Employees who are personally and professionally rewarded also tend to be those who deliver excellent products and services, create loyal customers, and increase the firm’s reputation and worth.

Team leaders who want to be difference-makers in the lives of their people and their organizations invest heavily in their staff in order to elicit the following positive statements from them, no matter what their jobs are. Developed by the GALLUP Organization, and administered in its Q12 survey, they epitomize the most important elements of employee engagement:

1.  I know what’s expected of me.
2.  I have the materials I need to do my job right.
3.  I have the opportunity to do what I do best.
4.  I’ve received recognition for good work in the past seven days.
5.  My supervisor cares about me as a person.
6.  My opinions count.
7.  My coworkers are committed to doing quality work.
8.  I have a best friend at work.
9.  My job is important to the success of the company.
10.  Someone encourages my development.
11.  Someone has talked with me about my progress in the last six months.
12.  I’ve had opportunities to learn and grow in the past year.

As employee engagement rises, so does your corporate vitality—and your worth as an asset manager and people developer. Strategically investing in people yields short and long term gains for all stakeholders, produces a profitable return-on-investment, and pays a lucrative legacy of everlasting dividends. Our most valuable resources are human—shall we not treat them as the treasures they are?

MasterPoint: Invest in your most valuable assets as the treasured individuals they are.