Individual Objectives = Organisational Objectives
This simple equation encapsulates the essence of employee engagement. Doesn't it? After all isn’t that what you as a manager or business leader want? You want your employees to have objectives aligned with those of the organisation. And you want them to realise the success of the business and its survival depends on them achieving their objectives. Don't you?
This may possibly even be the biggest challenge you face. Unfortunately, trying to create this alignment all too often leads you down the track of thinking that you are responsible for motivating your people in order to create that effect. This is a track that can be a dead-end.
From the time of Aesop we have traditionally recognised two fundamental forms of motivation – the carrot and the stick. Even now these underpin all marketing efforts, only in modern parlance they are called ‘toward motivation’ and ‘away motivation’ respectively.
Yet there is a 3rd motivational force that is not widely enough recognised or acknowledged.
In my book “Lean Organisations Need FAT People” I used this diagram to depict it. This looks at motivation from the perspective of the above equation. So instead of looking from an away or toward perspective it looks at it from the individual and organisational perspective. Thus you have individuals looking to fulfil needs and wants, while you have the organisation looking to stimulate such desires through traditional carrot and stick methods.
However, individuals actually have a level that transcends needs and wants. For example think of a marathon runner. What makes them persist in heading out to train in all weathers and at all times of the day or night? There may be any number of terms for that, but I have called it devotion. (In the context of the individual and their relationship to the organisation, you may call it engagement.) Whatever it is it is both personal and innate to the individual.
This makes it very difficult for the organisation to try to address. What can you do to create devotion to the organisation? You have to find something that reaches the individual at an intrinsic rather than an extrinsic level.
That is why I am so excited by the research undertaken by social scientists and psychologists and championed by Daniel Pink. In highlighting autonomy, mastery and purpose as the primary, universal intrinsic motivators this work underscores precisely the points I was making in "Lean Organisations Need FAT People." Not only does my model of employee ownership embed the equation: Individual Objectives = Organisational Objectives through a sense of common purpose and shared values, but it also lays a solid foundation for greater autonomy and mastery.If you are serious about business success you have to build employee engagement and this offers you the perfect recipe. It is motivation in 3D!