Your company needs its employees to give a crap about it. Maybe this is news, and maybe it isn’t, but employee engagement can make or break your company. We’ve written on the topic a few times before, but it’s worth attacking again. You see, I was reading Laura Garnett’s article today on the 3 questions that will motivate your employees, and something hit me (no, not literally).
When it comes to our companies, we can be selfish. Wait, what? Yes, I said it. We, the people who feel that our mission is to change the world at some grander level, can be absolutely, positively, nastily, downright selfish. Don’t believe me? Consider the last time an employee was slacking. What was in your first set of thoughts? If you’re the average employer, you were more likely to consider how much this was costing the company because of the wasted time then you were to consider what might be going on with the employee that was making him waste the time. Even if both crossed your mind, the cost was the stronger thought. It’s a rare employer that doesn’t consider the cost in that situation.
And that’s exactly what I’m talking about. In the article that I linked to, there are 3 questions listed (as the title suggests). It was number 3 that hit me.
Do you feel that you get purpose from our mission and vision? If not, tell me what gives you purpose — and how you can leverage that mission for our business.
It’s specifically the end of that sentence that bothers me. How can you leverage that mission for our business? It’s really plain and simple why it bothers me, and I hope you see it too. It’s suggested that we ask what drives the employee, then tell them to twist it into benefiting the company. It leaves me with sort of an ugly feeling, almost as if the motivating factors for the employee – what he cares about – don’t matter unless they can benefit us. That’s not really how I’m supposed to feel, is it?
Yes, my company is my baby, and if I have an employee who does not enjoy her job, that’s a problem. I should definitely seek to reconcile it as quickly as possible. But be the catalyst. Find out what matters to your employees, then you figure out how to help them get it through their position. If you can’t possibly offer a position that they can get behind, maybe it’s best that you part ways with them. They would be happier elsewhere, and your company would be better off.
And, no, you don’t have to be cold about it. Put in a few calls and help them find something that’s better suited to their passion in exchange for their assistance finding their replacement. There is no reason there can’t be a mutual benefit.