Last weekend, like every weekend, and every day, for that matter, I had a laundry list of things that needed to be done scrawled on an old envelope that is my agenda, none of which I could bring myself to do.
Instead, on this sunny, 70-degree, New England afternoon, I sat in my backyard alongside my 10 year-old daughter in our collapsible camping chairs. She raced through Julia Gillian (and the Quest for Joy) while I reveled in Orson Scott Card’s Pathfinder. I wish I could tell you that this was a bona fide afternoon of rest and relaxation (aka R&R), but frankly, a more accurate descriptor would have been Rebellion with a little relaxation on the side (R&r).
In retrospect, I find myself wondering, at what point in my life did I start to believe that relaxing with my daughter constitutes an act of rebellion? Couldn’t I just give myself permission to hang out with her? Or to spend time alone? I couldn’t quite. I rarely can. In fact, if I quickly scan down my health history, all too frequently I find that my body, kind as it is, has gotten sick so that I could legitimately take a break. It’s no wonder that Dr. Christiane Northrup wrote, “Illness is the only acceptable form of Western meditation.”
I don’t think that it was meant to be this way.
Great work. It’s something Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank knows all too well. He started his company in 1996, and the brand’s meteoric rise to fame is worth deeper discussion.
What did it take to create this highly-visible, highly-coveted brand? A brand that’s on the shoulders, backs and shoes of athletes across the world? I think the company can attribute three key factors to its success:
While individual needs will vary from person to person, research tells us human beings have six basic needs in the workplace:
- Personal Growth
- Meaningful work
- A sense of belonging
The first four are rational factors and can be met through strategic corporate objectives. The last two, respect and a sense of belonging, appeal to the emotional side of people and are driven by the company’s corporate culture. Although there are fewer emotional factors that meet employee’s basic needs, they are far more successful in improving employee engagement, retention and satisfaction than the rational factors. According to a study from the Corporate Executive Board, emotional factors are four times more effective than rational factors in influencing employee performance and encouraging great work.
Teams that click don’t fall from the sky. It takes time and focused effort, but keep going and your consistency will pay off. Enjoy our teamwork tips for powerful team building ideas to inspire, develop and challenge your team. Click to read more below for this week’s teamwork tip, founded in the research from O.C. Tanner’s New York Times bestseller The Orange Revolution, by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton, and get your team on track to breakthrough performance.
Ah, the poignant moments in the life of a road warrior. One such happened to me last week while training the finer aspects of employee recognition and appreciation to a group of managers in our nation’s capitol.
While in the thick of explaining how recognition is an accelerator toward driving employee engagement, one senior student close to retirement age piped up: “You know, if we appreciated each other half as much as we appreciate dogs, we’d be doing at least 50% better.” Floored by excitement with his answer, I rushed over, patted him on the head and said, “Good boy! Now, roll over!” You should have seen his leg twitching as I scratched his belly and gave him a treat. It was the cutest thing…
But seriously, the more I thought of his point throughout the week, the more I realized how true it is. Appreciating people half as much as we appreciate man’s best friend could go a long way when it comes to achieving employee engagement at work. Consider the following as you think back to your family pooches of yesteryear:
College graduation. During my early years at a small, arts-focused university, it couldn’t come soon enough. My high school “senioritis” didn’t disappear when I received my diploma. I just become more anxious, wanting to get my degree and get on with my life.
I was offered a job before I received my bachelor’s degree—taking a few, final classes by day and cutting my teeth overnight as a new journalist. The long hours changed me, and the rose-colored glasses quickly came off.
But, now that I’m now nearly a decade into my career, I’m discovering much of the advice shared with me at graduation still holds true today. I turn to that guidance when I need a boost and while writing this, I’ve come across some valuable lessons from leaders in business, television, medicine, music and more. I hope their words reinvigorate you and motivate you to deliver great work:
Our May webinar featured David Sturt, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at O.C. Tanner. He spoke on three strategies for creating a great work culture, which was first discussed with our audience at the 2011 Executive Recognition Summit in New York City. Here are some highlights from David’s keynote at the Summit along with a link to last week’s webinar.
“Appreciation without great work is hollow. People see right through it. When somebody has done a piece of great work, however small or large, and that work is appreciated, it just drives you. You can’t get enough of it. Part of our jobs as leaders is to create cultures where that cycle flourishes, where people are inspired to do great work. When a difference is made, we celebrate and show our appreciation.”
Explains David Sturt, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at O.C. Tanner. With a passion for understanding how and why people make a difference in organizations, Sturt has been researching great work and the impact appreciation has on it.
He was known for his mind-bending illustrations, plainly-stated storytelling and brash responses to criticism. While Maurice Sendak was considered a colorful and controversial figure, his Where the Wild Things Are and Chicken Soup with Rice delighted and fascinated childhood readers for decades.
Sendak could have been in one of his own beloved works—an honest, bizarre and amazing character who saw the world through a vivid lens. He never patronized children through his storytelling, instead presented the world to be what it was: dark, hopeful, heart-breaking, mysterious, beautiful and tangled.
But did you know Sendak’s most well-known work could’ve been published with another name? Where the Wild Things Are was originally titled Where the Wild Horses Are. But, he couldn’t draw horses, so the title of the book changed and the “things” that ended up in the story were inspired by Sendak’s immigrant relatives. (He drew the “things” the way he saw his relatives when he was a child.)