Engagement measures how team members feel connected and emotionally invested in the organization. It is one of the key tools for employers to quantify the morale, overall health, and well being of their team.
In a Gallup study done through thousands of interviews in various organizations, one of the leading statements that determined engagement levels (therefore commitment levels and performance) is “My Supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person”.
“As a person”, not as an employee.
Meaning someone cares about who I am, what I want in life, my personal aspirations and dreams, giving me the feeling that I am not just another number in a spreadsheet.
But how can we make people feel appreciated as unique individuals with hopes, dreams, and ambitions for themselves?
The 3 Most Important Questions
Often times, when people hear the term employee engagement, they think of parties, drinks, free food, and expensive activities. This is great for encouraging people to interact, but without a structure, it can tend to just be a social investment for team members to bond, but not necessarily help them feel that they matter to the organization.
In Mindvalley we have every single person who joins the team create a list that answers 3 crucial questions;
- What experiences do they want to have in life?
- How do they want to grow themselves as a person to reach these experiences?
- How do they want to contribute to the world?
Here’s why this works:
- It creates strong friendships and helps people drive their goals forward
Everyone’s 3MIQ list is publicly posted for the whole team to see. This makes it easy for like-minded people with similar interests to get in touch and encourage one another to pursue their goals together since there is no such thing as a monopoly on dreams (I cannot say that only I can climb Mount Everest).
It automatically becomes a catalyst for peer support groups so people stick to their goals, get the push they need to take action and build friendships for life.
In Gallup’s study on the 12 Elements of Great Managing, they found that close work friendships boost employee satisfaction by 50% and people with a best friend at work are SEVEN times more likely to engage fully in their work.
- It gives managers a reference on how to best engage their team
As a Manager, having a list like this allows me to actively coach my team members in regards to their specific aspirations. It gives managers visibility of their employees’ drivers in life and therefore enables alignment of personal goals with professional careers inside the organization. In Mindvalley, this also serves as a way to easily calibrate whether we have the right people in the right roles by ensuring they’re doing the work that fits their personal goals the most.
- It makes new team members feel welcome
There’s nothing like the feeling of being new in an organization, dreaming of being a world class public speaker and finding a book on public speaking on your desk during your 1st month on the job as a gift from people you barely know yet. It makes employees feel that people care about them, their dreams, and personal aspirations and not just another hand at work.
- It prevents stagnation and boredom of team members
Having very clear goals personally and professionally gives team members and managers a “North Star” to move towards as they make career decisions and investments in growth. This keeps people on their toes and constantly working on things that contribute to their long term goals – and prevents them from getting stuck and stagnant both at work or outside of it.
The Future of Work – Work Life Integration
More and more people are choosing employers for more than just a salary, and that means employers have to take more action towards engaging in the team members’ personal vision, rather than just expecting team members to engage in a company’s vision. The practice of the 3 Most Important Questions provides us with an opportunity to meet our team members halfway for maximum engagement.
It’s easy to see that this exercise blurs the line with regards to work and life. At Mindvalley, we don’t believe that there is such a thing as work-life balance. What we believe in is Work Life Integration. We spend 70% of our days at work. When you think about it, that is not just work, that is our life. So we should make the most out of it and ensure that it helps us reach our dreams and aspirations.