Rodd Wagner, Vice-President of Engagement Strategy at BI Worldwide and author of the book “Widgets” has introduced a new way to talk about employee engagement. Wagner’s framing of engagement from the perspective of empowerment may be the shot in the arm the federal government needs when it comes to moving the needle on engagement. At a minimum, his model may light a fire under govies to stop talking about engagement and start doing something about it.
His message is directed mostly at leaders who, according the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey, influence 66 percent of their employee’s engagement.
Get Inside Their Heads
Leaders have to be interested in what makes their people tick. What are their strengths, aspirations and abilities?
Make Them Fearless
Lead your people in a way where they focus less on self-preservation and more on service to their customers and colleagues.
Make Money a Non-issue
Millennials have been saying this for a long time. Money as a workplace motivator will only get you so far. Emotional connections to your work and organization are the new currency of the 21st century.
Help Them Thrive
Think about the things in the workplace that drive the physical, spiritual and psychological well-being of your people. The citizens and taxpayers are the beneficiaries of these investments.
Freshen up tired, old and boring government bureaucracies. Talented people do not like working for lifeless organizations. Loosen up and stimulate your workplace culture where work becomes fun again.
Be Boldly Transparent
Nothing is secret anymore thanks to information technology. Younger digital natives who will soon be running the federal government know that better than anyone.
Don’t Kill the Meaning
Your people need to know they are working on something that is bigger than them. A job and paycheck do not cut it anymore as primary workplace motivators.
See the Future
Be deliberate by helping your folks see beyond their current capabilities. Allow them to chart a future that brings out the best in them.
Magnify Their Success
Recognize and appreciate your employees by making a big deal about their contributions to the success of the organization.
We live in a free agent economy where millennials refuse to stay at a workplace forever. While we have each other as colleagues, we have to take advantage of collaboration while we can.
Let Them Lead
The best way to make employee opinions count is to let them lead even if it is in an informal manner. Allow them to lead from the front, the middle and behind. Create a workplace where everyone is a leader.
Take It to the Extreme
Challenge, stretch and test your people. They are itching to do incredible things. Help them get on a path to excellence.
There is a new social contract in the workplace. It is signed in the blood of empowerment. Let’s hope we do not default on the engagement it promises to bring.