Tony Schwartz has written a great blog post over on Harvard Business Review blog, which I’ve already forwarded to several key executive clients dealing with culture challenges in their organization, but it is so on-point and relevant to all leaders, I wanted to highlight here a few key excerpts. I also highly recommend reading the full blog over at HBR. In it, he highlights new research done in over 100 studies and some of the key findings are no surprise to executive coaches, and important for anyone who leads or manages others:
What would contribute most to your being both happier and more productive at work? How about feeling truly taken care of, appreciated, and trusted by your employer?
More than 100 studies have affirmed the connection between employee engagement and performance, but the Towers Watson 2012 Global Workforce Study — 32,000 employees across 30 countries — makes the most powerful, bottom line case yet for the connection between how we feel at work and how we perform.
Without sufficient energy, skill is rendered irrelevant. You can’t run on empty and that’s increasingly what employees are being asked to do.
Feelings of overload and burnout are default emotions in today’s organizations. Nor is this likely to change soon. Higher demand and fewer resources are the new normal. Effectively addressing the issue of capacity — energizing the workplace — depends on the willingness of individuals, leaders and organizations to each take responsibility for their roles.
For organizations, the challenge is to shift from their traditional focus on getting more out of people, to investing in meeting people’s core needs so they’re freed, fueled, and inspired to bring more of themselves to work, more sustainably.
No single behavior more viscerally and reliably influences the quality of people’s energy than feeling valued and appreciated by their supervisor. For individual employees, the challenge is to take a measure of responsibility for their experience, and not allow themselves to default into victim mode.
Invest your energy in what you have the power to influence.