Based on the book, MAGIC: Five Keys to Unlock the Power of Employee Engagement, this interactive workshop is designed to increase engagement by helping participants understand where they find their passion, meaning, and drive and apply it to their jobs. The results from their Employee Engagement MAGIC self-assessment are provided during the session and are used to help create a personal engagement action plan. Learning activities, games, and videos help participants internalize each concept while allowing time to discuss and debate ideas in small groups. Finally, managers are provided practical ideas and activities to use with their own employees to boost engagement including how to conduct a one-on-one engagement interview with their employees.
DecisionWise’s own Tracy Maylett, CEO of DecisionWise and Co-author of MAGIC: Five Keys to Unlock the Power of Employee Engagement, will be speaking at this year’s Human Resource Association of Central Utah Conference, March 10, 2016 at the Utah Valley Convention Center in Provo, Utah.
MAGIC: Five Keys to Unlock the Power of Employee Engagement, is an Axiom Business Book Award Silver Medalist in the operations management/lean/continuous improvement category. The book’s authors, Dr. Tracy Maylett and Dr. Paul Warner, will be recognized during the 2015 Axiom Awards Ceremony held on Wednesday, May 27th, 2015, at the Providence in New York City.
Think about a time when work seemed effortless. When the hours flew by without your even realizing. When you finished a time-consuming task and you weren’t emotionally drained. When words, notes, or ideas seemed to spring from your mind fully formed. Have you ever felt like that? You probably have, and you probably loved it. That’s flow. It’s when hard work becomes easy and excellence ceases to be a chore. At times, the end of the day may mean you’re exhausted. At the same time, what you do is exciting, renewing, and energizing. You’re ready to take on another round.
Because employees are motivated in great part by the desire to become more proficient at something that matters to them, everyone ultimately aspires to what is referred to as flow, the mental state first described by psychology professor Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Flow, he says, is, “The state in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. In essence, flow is characterized by complete absorption in what one does.” pg. 131, MAGIC: Five Keys to Unlock the Power of Employee Engagement.
Download our new whitepaper, “MAGIC: Five Keys for Managers to Unlock the Power of Employee Engagement.”
Employee engagement is an emotional state where we feel passionate, energetic, and committed toward our work. In turn, we fully invest our best selves—our hearts, spirits, minds, and hands—in the work we do. When you see engagement, you know it. When you feel engaged at work, you know it. Most people spend a large portion of their life’s time invested in their careers. How important is it to spend that time being fully engaged in the work we do? Are we happier being fully engaged in our work or simply passing the time collecting a paycheck?
“The best moments in our lives are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times…The best moments usually occur if a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile. In other words, we’re most engaged not when we’re kicking back but when we’re kicking butt.” pg. 131, MAGIC: Five Keys to Unlock the Power of Employee Engagement.
Does Your Job Have Meaning Beyond the Work Itself?
When was the last time you felt that the work you were doing had meaning or was about more than just making money? Have you ever done something that filled you so completely that you could work nonstop for hours without realizing it?
If you have, then you know what we mean by “MEANING.” Meaning is how we go from job, to career, to calling. It’s when you know that your work makes a difference that you care about personally. Meaning is why we work beyond the obvious reason of getting a paycheck. It’s also critical because it’s the factor that sustains us during times of difficulty, stress, or challenge. It helps us see past issues and focus on reasons we’re working in the first place. It’s where the heart really kicks in.
Zookeepers are an interesting example.
Researchers1 studying zookeepers found that they are uniquely engaged in their work (something any four-year-old could have told you.). The most interesting part of the research centered on why the zookeepers were so engaged in what is by any standard a demanding occupation. The researchers discovered that while much of the work is decidedly unglamorous (cleaning up animal poop) and some is downright dangerous (working with injured or agitated animals), the zookeepers also felt their work had a greater purpose: caring for every aspect of their jobs was engaging, their jobs as a whole engaged them deeply. They not only brought their hearts and spirits to their work, they did something significant with their minds and hands because of their feelings. They created their own engagement.
Finding Meaning at Work
So many things create meaning for employees and help them become engaged in their jobs. While nowhere near complete, here is a small list of ways we’ve seen employees find meaning in their jobs and become engaged.
- Mentoring younger employees
- Earning enough money to pay for their kids to be the first in their family to attend college
- Helping create products that clean the environment
- Preventing crime or abuse
- Improving people’s health
- Giving people a voice
- Assembling an awesome product
- Designing beautiful things
- Keeping people safe
- Rescuing or caring for wildlife or environment
How do you find meaning at work? What other ways can you add to this list?
More insight along these lines can be found in our book, MAGIC, Five Keys to Unlock the Power of Employee Engagement.
1J.Stuart Bunderson and Jeffery A. Thompson, “Measuring the Meaning of Meaningful Work: Development and Validation of the Comprehensive Meaningful Work Scale” (CMWS), Group & Organization Management 37, (October 1, 2012): 655-85.