Have you ever been excited about a new project at home – a deck, a new set of bathroom fixtures, painting, remodeling? As hard as I try to prepare and plan thoroughly, invariably there is at least one material or piece of equipment I did not have. Its absence would cause me immense frustration and wasted time. This scenario is common when doing a new task for the first time because we lack experience. Imagine having projects and tasks everyday which are quite common and not having the right equipment or materials to get your job completed well.
Having What I Need to Do My Job Well
Less than one-third of US employees strongly agree that they have the materials and equipment that they need to do their work well. When employees are not provided the equipment and materials needed to do their job, they become shocked and disenchanted. It does not compute! In their minds, the organization is asking them to be productive and do good work, but are unwilling to listen and consider what is needed to do so? – Tilt!
Employees are often the best source when it comes to what’s needed. And, a one-size-fits-all may not be the best approach as employees have different needs and talents for doing work. Organization with the highest employee engagement don’t have to spend a lot of money to achieve this. Many times, minor accommodations simply show employees that the company cares about making their work safer and easier. Productivity is a natural byproduct.
Engagement Can Be Emotional
Remember my home project example? There was no one to blame but myself and inexperience, but I was stressed, nonetheless. Stress levels at work can be very high when employees want to do good work, but are not provided what they need. A good friend of mine and I often discuss a simple example where a computer programmer needs to have multiple screens with high resolution to accommodate multiple programs open at once. Having this accommodation can result in better quality and higher productivity. Some employers are inflexible and deny such common-sense equipment and both employees and productivity suffer.
When employees become disenchanted over time, engagement levels drop and so does their productivity, innovation, and discretionary effort. Great managers recognize that when they take care of their employees, and care about their needs, engagement improves significantly. Consider this – when a manager endeavors to create a workplace where employee safety and looking for ways to make their work easier is a priority, employees respond positively. Making work easier can naturally boost productivity. However, there is a psychological motivation for employees when they believe that the company is going to back them up with equipment and materials. It makes them more confident in their job and they provide additional suggestions for improvement and productivity. Imagine a workplace where employees give ideas and the company responds and benefits. They give more ideas and contribute to a partnership where employee engagement and productivity are one.
About the Author:
David Barski is an executive business coach with over 27 years of management and leadership experience in Fortune 100 companies. David is a Gallup-certified Strengths Coach and an expert in driving employee engagement. David has a passion for helping organizations grow and achieve their mission by investing in winning process, technology and people capital strategies.