Friday, June 8, 2007

Connecting, Engagement, and Productivity

The Gallup Organization's Workplace and Leadership Consulting's Tom Rath, c0-author of How Full is Your Bucket? and Vital Friends: The People You Can't Afford to Live Without, presented "Four Foundations of Everyday Leadership" on the last day of the American Society of Training and Development Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.

Using data from 20,000 workers around the world, Rath found that an individual who made a difference to workers was someone that workers have known a long time and was local, like a co-worker or a manager, not a CEO. To workers, influential people were people who:

1. cared about them.
2. always spoke the truth--have integrity.
3. made them feel secure.
4. gave them hope.

Workers who are engaged in the workplace are much more productive than workers who are not engaged. Having friends at work is important in creating productitivity at work. Rath challenged us to consider what is important to workers. Workers want to be:

1. put in the right job--matching talent to task.

2. given a great manager--a manager who is connected and engaged to the workers.

3. focused on their skills.

Focusing on their strengths, rather than weaknesses, leads to more satisfaction and organizational engagement.

4. helped to build strong relationships.
When workers' best friends are on the job, they are seven times more likely to be fully engaged at work.

5. kept engaged in everyday interactions.
Workers are most engaged when they are given positive feedback. Negative feedback makes them less engaged. Workers who are not given any kind of feedback are much more disengaged than those workers who are given negative feedback.

6. measured progress regularly.
Workers want to know where the stand.

7. led toward a positive future.

What are we doing, individually and as an organization, to ensure that our workers are engaged, connected, and productive?

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