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How to Keep People Engaged at Work
Every employee wants to know why their job matters.
“When it comes to helping people feel really engaged in their work, there's three things they need,” shares Patrick. “First of all, you need to know them, you need to take an interest in them. The last one is that you need to give them some way to measure if they're succeeding for themselves, but the second one is you have to help understand why their job matters.”
Purpose matters, and employees need to have a clear grasp of it and how they contribute to it in order to feel fulfilled and engaged in their work. Watch the video to hear ways in which you can communicate purpose to each individual employee.
- Leaders need to know their employees well.
- Leaders need to provide measurements for success.
- Leaders need to help people see the importance of their work.
We call it irrelevance. If a person feels like their job is irrelevant, that at the end of the day, it doesn't change someone's life in some way, large or small. If they feel like my job really doesn't matter, there's no way they're going to love their work. And the job of a leader is to sit down with a person and say, "Do you know why your job matters? Do you know whose life you make better and how it fits into the organization?" And if they say no, then your job is to help them figure that out.
And if you work really hard to figure it out and you can think of nothing that they do that really matters, you got to eliminate that job. But almost every job has that in there, but employees lose sight of it. Now, if you're a firefighter, or a school teacher, or a priest, or a minister, or a surgeon, it's pretty easy to know why your job matters. Most people's jobs aren't that clear and the manager has to sit down and have a creative conversation and say, "If you do your job well, here's whose life is better off as a result of that, and if you do it poorly, here's who suffers. I want you to know that." That, every employee wants to understand.
Patrick Lencioni is founder and president of The Table Group, a firm dedicated to providing organizations with ideas, products and services that improve teamwork, clarity and employee engagement.
Patrick’s passion for organiz...
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