Saturday, April 27, 2019

Engaging the Hearts and Minds of All Your Employees (2018) by Lee J. Cohan, Book Review

Engaging the Hearts and Minds of All Your Employees:
How to Ignite Passionate Performance for Better Business Results
(2009, 2018)
by Lee J. Cohan

Truly this is the classic leadership guide to engaging and inspiring employees. I read this book from the perspectives of employer and employee. In this way, I get the most benefits. I asked myself this question, “Am I excited to come to work?” frequently when I read it. This question is important because Lee Cohan defines three different types of employees that may best represent what type of employee I am now. Which one are you? #1 Engaged employees love their work and look forward to it every day; #2 Disengaged employees “punch the clock” but are not involved in the work, and #3 Actively disengaged employees don’t like their work and let it be known throughout the workplace. If you’re a leader, you already know which category you want your employees or team to fall into (hint: #1). You see, engaging leader invest time and energy into the team because he/she knows that engaged team is more likely to: stay with the organization, perform at high levels, influence others to perform well, promote the organization externally, deliver unparalleled customer service, etc.

As a leader, you must avoid #2 and #3 (especially) at all cost. Why? Because as Lee Cohan points out, the disengaged employees will most likely bring harm and toxicity in the organization. “A Gallop poll found only 26% of U.S. employees are fully engaged at any time. At the other end of the spectrum, 19% of employees are actively disengaged, meaning they intentionally act in ways that negatively impact their organizations. The annual cost, nationwide, to employ this actively disengaged group exceeds $300 billion” (Gallop Management Journal, 2001). $300 billion! If we were to do polling in Malaysia, with the state and attitude of Malaysian employees nowadays, I think we can use the annual cost of disengagement to cover 1MDB lost in 3 years! Disengagement is very costly. Here are some symptoms of disengagement: increase turnover, missed deadlines, low morale, high burnout rates, complacency, finger-pointing and name-calling, lack of accountability and responsivity, and increased absenteeism. “Disengagement is simply the result of unfulfilled needs” writes Lee Cohan.

So in this book, Lee Cohan identifies the six basics needs to be required to fully engage your employees or team. Three (3) of these needs are emotional and the other three (3) are intellectual (refer to pic). “Engaged minds build employee performance,” explains the author, “engaged hearts ignite people’s passion.” By engaging the hearts AND minds of employees, they will achieve Passionate Performance. “Passionate Performance is about passion and performance” – this is what Lee called engaged employees. Let me summaries each needs one by one:

The Intellectual Side: Engaging the Mind. “Thought, not money, is the real business capital,” said Harvey S. Firestone. To engaged people’s minds, they need:

#1 Achievement. We all want to succeed at something. Two key strategies to fulfill your employees’ need for achievement include: 1) Eliminate barriers to achievement by ensuring that your team has the resources to achieve the result you want, get into the fundamentals, match authority and responsibility levels, and be decisive, and 2) Define crystal clear goals by using the SMART method (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-framed).

#2 Autonomy. We all want to control our work. Two key strategies to fulfill your employees’ need for autonomy include: 1) Involve employees in improving their work processes such as making it easy for them to implement ideas and listen at least 50% of the time in order to prevent blind spots; and 2) Set broad yet clear boundaries, let your team determine the best methods to achieve their goals.

#3 Mastery. People have the need to develop expert skills and/or knowledge. Two key strategies to fulfill your employees’ need for mastery include: 1) Fit person to position for ‘highest and best use’ by designing sweet spot jobs; and 2) Seize teachable moments to coach employees to make them be better people, not just better employees.

The Emotional Side: Engaging the Heart. “It’s not the size of the man,” writes Evander Holyfield, “but the size of his heart that matters.” To engaged people’s hearts, they need:

#4 Purpose. We all want to be part of something bigger than ourselves. Two key strategies to fulfill your employees’ need for purpose include: 1) Create a compelling purpose for yourself and your team by asking “Why do we ultimately do what we do?”; and 2) Stay focused on activities that directly support your team’s purpose because time and energy are very previous.

#5 Intimacy. Everybody wants to feel like they belong. Two keys strategies to fulfill your employees’ need for intimacy include: 1) Maintain the sense of smallness by creating more, smaller teams as you grow rather than fewer larger teams; and 2) Create rituals and celebrations. Focus on only one or two new rituals to ensure 100% reliability in performing them and keep it simple.

#6 Appreciation. People want to be recognized for their work. Two key strategies to fulfill your employees’ need for appreciation include: 1) Find opportunities to appreciate employee’s contributions. Make your employee recognition personal, memorable, sincere and meaning full; and 2) Demonstrate a sincere interest in your employees as people. Remember: Leadership is [still] a high-touch job.

I love this book. Short, packed and full of wisdom. Read it and get ready to change your perspective!


To WATCH my REVIEW of this book on YouTube, CLICK HERE:

Best Blogger Tips

No comments:

Post a Comment

They Click it A lot. [Top 7 last 7 Days]