Hug Your People

In Hug Your People Jack Mitchell states “You cannot possibly deliver great service if you don’t treat your own associates right.” And then he sets out how you as a leader can go about doing this by building a niceness culture.
Some simple but sometimes neglected or forgotten things he mentions are:
  • Everyone wants to be appreciated!
  • People are our most important asset.
  • SMILE at your people often!
  • Treat your people like family.
He then gives us his 5 principles to have happy people:
  • NICE
  • TRUST
  • PRIDE
  • INCLUDE
  • RECOGNIZE
Be NICE to them, TRUST them, instill PRIDE in them, INCLUDE them and generously RECOGNIZE them.

Hug Your People: The Proven Way to Hire, Inspire, and Recognize Your Employees and Achieve Remarkable Results

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Inner Work Life – The Four Nourishers and How They Lead to Progress

The main way nourishers help inner work life is by making the work more meaningful which is am important element of the progress principle.

When we are about the people we work with we want to succeed for them. When our colleagues become a kind of family to us, work can take on new meaning in our lives which inspires us to go the extra mile for the team which results in greater creativity and productivity.

The Four Major Nourishers are:

1. Respect – How Management acts plays a large part in whether employees feel respected or not. Recognition is the most important of these actions. People feel respected when their efforts are acknowledged. Respect is also shown when managers give employees ideas serious attention. Dealing with people honestly also shows respect. And finally basic civility signifies respect.

2. Encouragement – Encouraging people can nourish their inner work lives in a couple of ways. The enthusiasm of leaders can help to improve employee’s motivation, especially when this enthusiasm includes statements about the importance of the work. Second, when management shows they believe that their people can do a good job.

3. Emotional Support – People feel more connected to others at work when their emotions are validated. Managers can help to alleviate the negative and increase the effect of the positive simply by acknowledging. Managers who empathize can have an even more powerful effect on the inner work life of their team.

4. Affiliation – This occurs when team members are able to develop bonds of trust and appreciation with each other. Leaders can help these bonds develop by providing opportunities for people to spend time face to face with their colleagues and finding ways for them to have fun together.

Importantly it’s not enough for you as the leader to give your team nourishment you also need to establish a culture within the group were team members also nourish each other.

Inner Work Life – The Nourishment Factor – The Power of Interpersonal Support

The third major influence on Inner Work life is the Nourishment Factor along with the Progress Principle and the Catalyst Factor.

You nourish a persons inner work life by recognizing good work, providing encouragement or offering emotional support. You might also engage in conflict resolution, facilitate people getting to know each other or simply let them have some fun.

All of these things lead to team members experiencing positive emotions such as joy, pride and happiness. They then become motivated to contribute to something wonderful. Over time the positive inner work life responses lead to superior performance.

Inner Work Life – The Seven Major Catalysts

1. Setting Clear Goals

Inner work life is improved when employees know what direction they need to move towards and why the work they do is important.

2. Allowing autonomy

Once the broad goals are set employees need to have some influence over how they meet those goals in order to be intrinsically motivated and to truly own the progress that is made towards meeting those goals.

3. Providing Resources

Providing resources has two major impacts on inner work life. It both allows the employee to have a stronger belief that the work will be a success and it also indicates that management values the work they are doing.

4. Giving enough time – but not too much

Low to moderate time pressure is optimal to inner work life. Too much and employees become stressed, unhappy and unmotivated, too little and people feel unchallenged and bored.

5. Help with the work

Employees become dejected when they need help and can’t get it, frustrated when help could be given but is withheld by someone important such as managers at any level and infuriated when it seems that someone is actively getting in the way of their work. On the other hand getting the right sort of help, from the right people, at the right time, can give a great boost to inner work life.

6. Learning from problems and successes

Problems should be faced head on, studied and solved or learned from. Ignoring problems or punishing people for having problems both have a detrimental impact to inner work life. Studying and celebrating successes also improves inner work life. When success is ignored or its value is questioned inner work life is negatively effected.

7. Allowing ideas to flow

Managers need to truly listen to their employees, encourage different opinions and respectful debate of those opinions.

Inner Work Life – The Progress Loop

Progress and Inner Work Life feed each other in a virtuous cycle.

The progress loop is a secret weapon of high performance companies; it produces powerful benefits for both managers and employees.

Consistent daily progress by each employee propels the company towards achieving its goals and also improves the quality of inner work life for the employees involved in the progress. Progress feeds growth in the positive inner work life of your employees. Growth in positive inner work life then feeds further progress.

To benefit from this powerful tool you must ensure that consistent forward momentum in work that has meaning to your employees is a regular experience for them.

As a manager you must keep the progress loop in motion by constantly helping employees to progress and remove obstacles in the way of that progress.

Inner Work Life – Progress in Meaningful Work

In order for the progress principle to come into play the work been done must be meaningful. Simply making progress getting things done doesn’t guarantee good inner work life if the things getting done are not important or meaningful to the person doing them.

This desire for meaningful work creates the foundation for the progress principle. It is progress in meaningful work that triggers the sense of accomplishment and other positive perceptions, emotions and motivations that make up excellent inner work life.

What is Meaningful Work?

To be meaningful what matters is whether the person doing the work perceives their work to be contributing value to something or someone who matters (even their team, themselves or their family etc.)

It can simply be making a useful and high quality product for the customer or providing a genuine service for their community,

How to Help your people Belong

What can you do to create a strong sense of belonging within your organization?
  • Lead with an inspirational mission and purpose that aligns and creates an emotional connection with all employees.
  • Encode and live by a strong set of values that guide both business and interpersonal behaviors. Emphasize things like respect, collaboration and fun.
  • Set the expectation and train your leaders to be champions of your purpose and exemplars of your values. Teach them how to be open, available and inclusive.
  • Immediately and decisively deal with behavior that is not in line with your values, especially if it occurs with someone in a leadership position.
  • Know and respect all employees as complete individuals with their own personal relationships, interests and challenges.
  • Communicate openly and inclusively, particularly regarding business or organizational issues that have the potential to adversely affect employees.
  • Encourage positive social connection and enjoyment in the workplace.
  • Provide vehicles and opportunities for all employees to have a voice.

Why Belonging is essential to achieve peak performance

Belonging is primal, fundamental to our sense of happiness and well-being.

A sense of social belonging can affect motivation and continued persistence, even on impossible tasks. That is, if you don’t feel like you belong, you are both less motivated and less likely to hang in there in the face of obstacles.

From this it is clear how creating a sense of belonging in your employees can lead to huge improvements in performance that would not have otherwise been possible.

Research conducted by psychologists Geoff MacDonald at the University of Toronto and Mark R. Leary at Duke University found that when we have a sense of belonging, when we feel accepted, welcomed and included, we are more likely to experience positive emotions such as happiness, calm and satisfaction. And, as workers. we are likely to:

  • Be more productive. 
  • Be more helpful to our co-workers without the need for personal gain. 
  • Encourage and support one another. 
  • Work more cooperatively with other teams. 
  • Take fewer sick days or be late to work. 

According to Greg Stewart, Professor of Management and Organizations at the University of Iowa, A sense of belonging and attachment to a group of co-workers is a better motivator for some employees than money.

Instilling  a sense of belonging in your employees is essential to both create the best work environment for your employees that you can and also to enable them to excel.