Why Engagement Happens in Employees’ Hearts, Not Their Minds
The Green Apple Podcast does weekly “Green Apple Slices”, where John Garrett and Rachel Fisch discuss a recent business article related to the Green Apple Message. These shorter segments are released each Monday, so don’t miss an episode by subscribing on iTunes or Stitcher.
This week, John and Rachel discuss a Fast Company article, “Why Engagement Happens in Employees’ Hearts, Not Their Minds” by Mark C. Crowley.
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John: Welcome back to another episode of Green Apple Slices on a Monday morning. I’m excited. I have Rachel Fisch back with me. Rachel, good morning!
Rachel: Good morning, John!
John: Yes, calling in from the Deloitte castle in Toronto. You’re perched high above all of bookkeeping Canada.
Rachel: That’s right.
John: I have an article here that I read that I thought was really, really good, and it’s “Why Engagement Happens in Employees Hearts, Not Their Minds”. It was in Fast Company written by Mark Crowley. Honestly, I thought of this one — honestly, I thought it happens in employees’ stomachs because we just talked with Stacey Mueller and she’s making cakes for everybody’s birthdays on the Green Apple Podcast. She was fantastic.
Rachel: That was definitely great, and it’s tax time. We’re just wrapping up, so the amount of sweets and donuts and cakes — like the candy machine has never had more candy in it.
John: Yeah, but certainly it happens more in their hearts and not their minds and I thought it was interesting. Mark Crowley spent a good amount of time trying to find the answer to the question of just what are those things that consistently inspire people to fully commit themselves to their jobs to where they’re going to scale mountains for their bosses type of a thing.
Rachel: And we’ve talked about that too. So when we talk about engagement, we talk about culture and we talk about these words that are just so nebulous and really getting down to the, “Okay, but what does that mean? How do you do that? How do we get that culture? How do we get culture besides buying a flood of yogurt?” so what are some of those things that we can do? So what I really liked is there is definitely that interest in trying to quantify it. What is that thing that we can then bottle and deliver to companies all across the world to make sure that their employees do stay engaged and their productivity increases and all this stuff? So it definitely looked like an interesting type study and the amount of time and resources that he’s dedicated to it is pretty awesome.
John: Absolutely. He found that a pay is fifth, no higher than fifth in importance to people throughout the industrialized world, so it’s not just the US and Canada. It’s the industrialized world. Clearly there are other things that are more important to people that’s really fascinating, to me anyway. Fifth, I was like, wow! I expected maybe top three or something like that, but it’s —
Rachel: And it doesn’t even make top three.
John: Yeah, but his study showed that basically work is just as important now to people as their families and their hobbies and their passions and everything else, that you’re spending so much time there and how satisfied you are with your job leads directly to how satisfied you are with your life.
Rachel: Yeah, so that was an interesting connection. When going back to how it used to be in the good old days or for the baby boomer was you go into work, you do your job, you get your paycheck, you provide for your family, and if you can do that then you’ve got this great life. So things are definitely changing because that doesn’t seem to be what equates — there’s more of a connection now between what you do and who you are. There’s more of almost a need to be important or have that kind of legacy thing. “What am I building? What am I leaving behind? How do other people perceive me?”
I think there are just so many other elements that are coming into professionalism and how people see themselves, and so I don’t know if they either didn’t exist back then in the providing for my family stage or if they did, but it just wasn’t socially acceptable. We could just talk on for ages about all of these little things, but I just thought that the shift was definitely interesting and it definitely feels like a bit of a generational shift, so it’ll be interesting to see how the next generations come and how this curve continues.
John: Yeah, I agree. All of that was before my time, so I can’t really speak to that, but the article did have some really important things that I think if people were like, “Well, what do I do?” they’re not easy things, but they are things that if you focus on these five, six, eight things, or even some of them then you’re light years ahead and you’re getting to your employees’ hearts. It’s what we’ve all preached about on the whole Green Apple Podcast, just caring about people, genuinely caring about your people.
Rachel: So reading along and about halfway through, it’s talking about this great study and it’s talking about all these things that I’m getting excited about and it’s really coming down to that one thing and I’m like here’s that one big thing. It’s love. I’m like, what?
John: What is this word? What is this word, love?
Rachel: I like articles without knowing what the heck is going on.
So then in my mind I’m hearing all of these songs that have “love” in the title and all these, unicorns dancing and the whole bit. And then of course reading on, when you really think about it, love is the strongest emotion and there are so many different types of love that when we’re talking about those moments of appreciation and trying to include staff and genuinely caring about them and being authentic with people around you and all of those things, if you didn’t have love, I don’t think that you’d be able to manifest that in the same way. So it was kind of like, oh, here comes the froufrou and then it’s like, wait, no. If you think about love as this core super strong emotion, yes, of course, all of these things do have that element to them. And if we didn’t care about people then it wouldn’t matter, right?
John: Absolutely. For a second, I thought I was reading Cosmo and I was like, whoa, is this Fast Company or Cosmo? What’s going on here? But I agree and it’s not the romance and whatever type of love. It’s just the foundation of human motivation is what he called it, which is fantastic. You can go to greenapplepodcast.com and there’s a link there to the article if you’d like to read the whole thing, so have a great rest of the week, Rachel.
Rachel: Awesome! You too, John.