If you happened to see the movie “The Break – Up” from 2006, you probably remember that famous quote that raised quite a debate among relationship experts: “I want you to want to do the dishes.” Now besides the interesting issues related to inter-personal relationships, this “I want you to want” philosophy can be also applied to working environments, especially when it comes to the notion of employee engagement we’ve been talking about a lot lately. Basically, if we are to reduce the theory to basic concepts, you can become aware of the company’s strategy to determine you to want to want to work better, as you feel subjected to all sorts of plans and tactics to win you over and turn you into a committed and engaged employee, without you feeling that you work more, harder or in vain.
There are companies out there (and by companies we mostly refer to managers) who still believe productivity is proportional with peoples’ hard work. There are managers who, against all common sense or basic HR advise, deny their employees short breaks throughout the day, because let’s face it, 3 breaks of ten minutes mean 30 minutes when you don’t work and they are not willing to pay you for not working, right? There are managers who believe hard and excessive work is the key to success and employee engagement and loyalty represents the staff’s obsessive habit to read business e-mails in the middle of the night or work in the weekends, to prove how worthy they are. In a world where statistics show that fewer and fewer people work for money, but more work for benefits and for leaving something behind, the above mentioned practices are not only detrimental, but certainly don’t make the category of strategies employed by companies to make you want to want to work better. On the contrary, they make you want to run away as fast as you can.
How do companies make you want to want to work better anyway?
Some managers woke up in time to realize that dictatorship and having hamsters running on wheels as employees are not the smartest ideas to achieve employee engagement or lower the turnover rate.
Being paid fairly for your job is only natural, but people want more than just money. Statistics show that smart companies also implemented alternative programs to keep their workers from wanting to leave. Working from home is such strategy, a few days a month somebody can take to balance their personal and professional life for the greater good of everybody. Outdoor activity breaks, those breaks you hear about on the Internet as being practiced by Google, Netflix or Apple in which people actually go outside (or to the company’s gym) and refresh their bodies and their spirit with physical exercise. Extra bonuses, some insurance coverage, a few days off as bonuses offered for outstanding results, team – buildings, company parties, they can all make the benefits strategy of your company, together with creating strong and meaningful working environments, build powerful teams and nurture your independence, sense of responsibility and pride to belong to that organization.
Shared respect and commitment
Smart managers know that a committed employee, the one who wants work better and give 100% of his / her talents to the company, is that employee whose work is acknowledged, respected, appraised and compensated. A smart manager knows people will grow fond of the firm (and they can make you want to want to work better) if the manager is open to communicate, gives and receive honest feedback, shares the problems and the successes of the company with the staff, is honest and able to admit to mistakes, not only to point the mistakes in the others. These smart managers are usually the ones who manage to keep low turnover rates in their companies.
They make you want to want to work better because you matter to them
In the examples at the beginning, those dictatorial managers make a fundamental mistake: they don’t actually care about their employees, they are solely interested in the company’s overall success, forgetting that it was you who made that success possible, together with your co-workers. A smart manager who will make you want to want to work better is the one who knows who you are as a person, what are your purposes in life – professionally speaking, what you are good at, what can you learn more and, the most important aspect, the smart manager is the one who supports your development. The one who sends you to workshops and trainings to get better at your job or in a completely other field of your interest, the one that evaluates your talent and the one who rewards you for your potential and innovative spirit.
Did your company or manager make you want to want to work better, give it all to the firm, grow as a professional, come up with new projects, and implement new ideas? Do you consider yourself a happy employee, a committed one or just a hamster on a wheel?