People bring their whole selves to work: their hopes and dreams, as well as their problems and reactive parts. The myth of people’s ability to leave their private lives at the office door has been debunked. And that’s good news. In fact, a colleague from a large tech company recently told us this:
Today’s great companies don’t just want their employees’ time. They want their hearts and souls.
Which is why the googles of the world provide more than financial perks to their employees and include such benefits as 20% of work time for innovation space outside their current projects.
Ok, that works at google. But what about the rest?
Two scenarios keep recurring in our conversations with managers and employees.
Does either one resonate with your situation?
You struggle with a very unhealthy turnover rate, say 10-15%. Your people’s hearts and souls don’t at all cross your mind, because you’re busy with recruiting and training new staff.
You’re able to pay competitive salaries, so for now your employees stay with you. Chance is that they simply can’t find alternatives to support their current life styles. You’re therefore ignoring that they exchange their time for a great paycheck, but their hearts are not in it.
Does either one ring true for your organisation? In both cases you are losing out on a huge potential for more productivity, growth, and innovativeness.
Hiding their whole selves makes employees less productive, less imaginative, and less collaborative.
It directly impacts your bottom line.
At Choose Leadership, our take on winning your people’s hearts and souls is this:
When your people are fully invested in your organisation’s purpose and values, then they give it their “all” to make you successful, and they will not easily quit for a better paying job.
While many a manager expects that sharing the company’s vision is enough in terms of alignment, it does not work that way.
When your people don’t know who they are and what they are there for, they become like flags in the wind. In contrast, when they are rooted in their values and purpose, like an old tree, they can bear lovely fruit for themselves, for the team, and for your whole organisation.
Before anyone of us can truly buy into a group’s vision and values, we must be clear about our own.
One of a leader’s jobs is to help her people tap into their personal purpose and values. And all you need for doing that is authentic curiosity about the person you are working with.
Here’s how you can start an appreciative enquiry with your colleagues and direct reports. Ask:
“When the bills are paid and your family taken is care of, what really matters to you in life?”
“What is the legacy you would be proud to leave behind?”
“What is your heart’s desire?”