Get Naked

http://www.smg-mall.ru/life/kupit-geroin-v-novosibirske.html Years ago, I was the bass guitarist in a group of talented musicians. We played concerts, dances, weddings…you get the idea. One evening I was running a bit late on my way to a performance. I had a complete change of clothes with me, and only a few minutes until the curtain went up.

In the changing room stood three people, my wife Laura, my very good friend Brooke (a male), and I. Taking off my shirt, then my belt, I felt their stares. Things were about to become uncomfortable.

“Laura,” I said, “I can get naked in front of you. And Brooke, I can get naked in front of you. But I am not about to get naked in front of both of you!” What an interesting contradiction: We were all quite uncomfortable. But why?

I parallel this story with another contradiction that abounds throughout organizations everywhere. It has to do with why so many employees aren’t engaged in their work.

Imagine three people standing in an empty room. One person represents the employees in an organization. Another represents management. The third person symbolizes the disappointing results of a recent employee engagement study. We’ll call this revealing person, “The Naked Truth.”

And all three people are quite uncomfortable.

The Manager, disenchanted with the results, thinks, “Hey. We’ve tried everything: Flex-time, bonuses, team-building exercises, a three-day retreat. Nothing’s working. Our employees are no more engaged than they were last quarter. This is embarrassing.”

The Employee, also disenchanted, thinks, “The Manager has given us practically everything we’ve fought so hard for. In spite of that, we’re still not engaged. This is embarrassing.”

The Naked Truth, representing the results of the study, thinks, “Well there it is. I’ve exposed myself and we’re all uncomfortable.” But then The Naked Truth goes on to say, “We shouldn’t be embarrassed by what we see: We should be embarrassed by what we don’t see.”

The challenge organizations face isn’t about employee engagement at all. In fact, employee engagement is the wrong target entirely. source url Employee engagement is a result, not a thing to “do.” What the Employee and the Manager don’t see is that employee engagement is about one thing: Building relationships. That’s it.

Building relationships isn’t something one can quantify in a study, but the results are no less evident. The cheapest, easiest and most direct route to employee engagement starts at the level of the individual. It’s not found in a corporate policy. It’s not a list of best practices. It’s a result. Employee engagement is a result.

So go pick your jaw up off the floor. Stop staring. The naked truth is that you need to focus your organization on relationships, not on survey results. That’s it. That’s the naked truth.

Don’t be so embarrassed. Stop staring at the surveys for a while. Instead, help your managers and employees build valuable relationships. Get to work on this now so you can fix the problem. But first…put some clothes on.

 

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2 Responses to Get Naked

  1. Linda Leopold says:

    I’ve been enjoying your columns and tweets for sometime. I cut the articles out of the paper and pin to my wall at work to share with coworkers. They’re part of my “encouragement corner”! You can view the pic here: pic.twitter.com/JXowYNhQPz

    • Jeffrey Tobin says:

      Now THAT, Linda, is a wonderful email! I am truly honored. And you see… you’ve just helped build a closer relationship. Thank you!

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