We have a dream. But do your employees share it?
How do you explain your outcomes? It’s an interesting question that Simon Sinek once posed. We all have similar opportunities for support, access to the same employee pool, operate in the same market, and yet our outcomes can be so very different. With very real challenges including Brexit and the Coronavirus, it is imperative we start looking at how to ensure success in the future. Some companies will continue to thrive in economically challenging times, for example when they pull together and share the financial burden in place of culling jobs. In contrast, others will blame economic influences and focus on redundancies in favour of maintaining profit.
Success comes down to how people within the organisation think, act and behave, and that comes from leadership. Sinek attributes differences to everyone in that business knowing the ‘why.’ Why is it they get out of bed and do what they do?
Reflect on your Reality
Think about those people in your organisation. Do they come to work simply to get paid or is it because they believe in the purpose of the company? Do your leaders want to be rich or to make a difference? When employees are emotionally connected to the business, they will give their all to make sure they’ve done everything they can to achieve what they believe in. Too few of us know the ‘why.’ What makes us special and unique? How do we add value? What is my role in the bigger picture?
Emotional Brain vs the Neocortex
The ‘why’ is an emotional response. It’s what determines how people engage. It’s about our limbic brain associated with trust and loyalty and motivation. In other words, the ‘why’ is what drives our behaviour. Language alone doesn’t change anything – we must believe in it. Take the example of campaigns providing facts and figures about how much exercise we should get or how many units of alcohol is our weekly allowance. Our neocortex might register the information and be able to understand and articulate the recommendations at a rational level. But when it comes to making the effort to change our behaviour, do we really care enough? Or do we enjoy relaxing too much to go to the gym, and the pros of drinking such as the taste, losing our inhibitions and socialising with friends?
Our beliefs and our values about what’s important to us determines our behaviour, engagement and outcomes.
Ask yourself: How does your company communicate what it truly believes in, to its employees as well as the marketplace? Does it connect with people emotionally? How do you attract top talent who believe in the same thing and will fully commit to achieving the shared outcomes? What do people say about your organisation? Do leaders use their position of authority to communicate how people should work or do they use their ability to inspire?
As Sinek says,
“If you just tell people what you want them to do, then expect them just to turn up. Being present guarantees the pay but not the outcomes you want. It’s what people believe in that determines how someone works, their effort, what they say about the company and the blood, sweat and tears they’re willing to shed.”
Take a look at our Workplace Wellbeing and Engagement Survey sample that lets you develop a deeper understanding into how likely employees are to fully engage in your current environment.
For more information about how to identify the ‘why’ in your organisation, get in touch.