Harnessing exploitable energy amongst employees

Most employees have it — a desire to express themselves, creativity, ingenuity, an innovative spirit, loyalty, the ability to work with other team members, resilience, energy, ideas, etc. — but much depends on the environment in which these employees work if they are to live out their innate abilities and express their skills. “Being skilled” doesn’t necessarily translate into utilisation of giftedness — a seed needs a fertile environment in which to germinate and grow.

For employees, environment is all important and this is not just the physical environment and salary and benefits — environment goes far beyond those essentials. I had a conversation about career growth with a friend and she noted that any career move would have to have the following factors in place for her to even consider moving:

  • Physically integrated offices and user-friendly building and facilities, including up to date technology

Then she added: “The most important consideration, however, is my relationship with my boss — does he trust me, care for me and support me?” Whilst the physical aspects of a work environment were indeed on her list, the environment upon which she largely focused was one of empowerment and trust. It would seem that expectations that relate to the “employee value proposition” include relational, value and self-esteem issues. When an appropriate employee value proposition is in place, energy is applied by employees to the business tasks at hand; when not in place, energy is applied in the form of self-protection, self-preservation and counter-productive activities.

One of the greatest gifts that leaders can give their staff is a fertile environment for growth and self-expression. To harness exploitable energy amongst employees, managers should focus on the following employee value proposition ingredients:

  1. Offering trust — extending trust means “I believe in you” and typically results in employees not letting the manager down. It gives the employee the opportunity to make decisions and self-manage work volumes, priorities and focus areas.

Harnessing exploitable energy amongst employees requires those in leadership positions to focus on the emotional and relational aspects of the employee value proposition. Leaders should demonstrate that they care for employees.

Originally published at https://www.stretchforgrowth.com on March 19, 2018.

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Jonathan has spent over 30 years focusing his efforts on developing people throughout the world. He believes that people have the most impact when stretched.

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Jonathan Mills

Jonathan has spent over 30 years focusing his efforts on developing people throughout the world. He believes that people have the most impact when stretched.