Engagement comes from the combination of investing one’s passion and energies plus the trust that those energies will not be in vain.
- Jeff Rogers
I just had to share this quote with you today, as it’s so appropriate for what we’ve been talking about with engaging your employees with their work.
What would cause an employee to trust that their work won’t be in vain?
A lot of trust comes from the relationship that you have, personally, with your employees, plus other leaders, managers and supervisors in your organization. In general, the trust required is going to be proportional to the amount of contact that employee has with each person in authority, plus the amount of control they perceive that each authority figure has in their lives.
Imagine a company with six levels of management, from the CEO down to the front line supervisor. The front line employee will likely have the most contact with their direct supervisor, and a lot of their job satisfaction is going to come from a belief that the supervisor is looking out for their best interest, protecting them, judging performance honestly, and giving them useful tasks.
But it may well be that the decisions about pay raises comes from the second level manager. So that employee will also need to develop some trust of THAT manager as well – not only on receiving pay raises (which may be quite rare these days!) but also based on leadership qualities, listening, and fairness. As with all trust, it takes a long time to grow, and a remarkably short time to destroy.
For many employees, the level of trust they require of the CEO will be relatively small. They want to trust the executives not to run the company into the ground and to develop a corporate culture which supports their needs, but that’s not as deep as the day-to-day interactions with one’s immediate bosses.
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