Pulse March / April 2018 - Page 48

be exclusive to your company’s and employees’ flavors, so stop comparing yourself to any other company. Yes, you can learn from others, but don’t try repli- cating them exactly. It won’t work. Here’s how you can create a fun and engaging environment while adhering to your company’s culture. 1. Focus on Fulfillment The key element of a fulfilling work environment is a sense of purpose. Organizations are fairly good about recog- nizing the overall mission and vision for the company, but what about their employees? How does an employee’s “life mission” contribute and connect with the company? How does his or her specific role impact the company’s goals and intentions? Employees want to be a part of something that is greater than themselves. They want to know that their work has meaning and creates value for themselves and for other people. Employees want to know that the products they create and/or the services they provide impact others’ lives positively. They want to have a job that gives meaning to their lives. I firmly believe every person and job adds value to this world, you just have to be able to help people see it. On a job level, we can help employees look beyond their tasks to what they create. For instance, a housekeeper could see her job simply as cleaning up after people or she could see herself as a health worker who creates a place where germs don’t spread, or as a peacemaker who creates a space for people to find peace. On a personal level, your employees may be focused on leaving a legacy behind. A legacy helps shape your purpose and your goals. A legacy can help determine how to live and work authenti- cally. It’s something your employees can bring to work each day and can use to measure success. I always try to work with my 44 PULSE ■ March/April 2018 consulting clients to create a six-word legacy that they can use to help them make decisions about both work and life. For example, I had a client who had a legacy of “leave the pile higher every day.” To her, this meant making sure she added to people’s lives more than she took from them. She would make sure to end conversations with encouraging words. She would send thank you cards to people who brightened her day. This legacy helped her find meaning and purpose in her work. Doing this with your employees could have the same effect. 2. Encourage Uniqueness The next element to our fun environment is uniqueness. Do you allow “There is no-one-size- fits-all workplace joy program. Your joy-filled workplace will be exclusive to your company’s and employees’ flavors, so stop comparing yourself to any other company.” your employees to express their uniqueness or, as I like to call it, their “flavor of life?” A person’s flavor of life goes beyond just their talents and strengths, but let’s look at those elements first. Do you know what talents and strengths your employee brings to the job? I am not talking about what they are competent at, but rather, what is in their zone of genius? I enjoy using the CliftonStrengths assessment to help to help individuals and teams become aware of their unique assets they bring to the table. The test helps individuals discover their 34 natural talents and how to use them to maximize their potential. It also allows folks to understand how they naturally think, feel, act and behave. It’s amazing to witness the Rubik’s Cube moment when things click into place, and employees understand why they do what they do and why their coworkers act how they act. Going beyond employees’ strengths and talents is their unique flavor of life. This element looks not at what people do, but who they are being while they work and live. When we can help employees tune in to their unique flavors, and then allow them to express it, we create oppor- tunities for flow to happen. Flow is where work is filled with ease and freedom. This is when people are working in their sweet spot. When employees feel free to express their unique flavor, they shine bright, are passionate and enjoy the present moment; all of which create an engaged employee. The final element of uniqueness is allowing your employees to create unique moments of magic and happiness for your customers. How can you empower them to use their personality and passions to create unique experiences for your customers? It could be as simple as always wearing a certain color, decorating their space to give the customer a sense of who they are, or finding a way to go above and beyond like collecting business cards or sending special thank you cards to customers. Allowing your employees to show off their unique personalities and ideas can create amazing customer experi- ences you never would have thought of. 3. Nourish Your People To quote another compelling study, the 2017 Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index showed a direct connection between well-being and employee engagement. The study showed that employees who are engaged and have a