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Employee Engagement Through Personal Accomplishment

Posted on March 25, 2015 by Don MacPherson.

Two janitors worked across the street from each other. They made about the same amount of money. They did the same work. Their companies were experiencing the same success. One of the janitors found his work empty. The other found his fulfilling.

The difference with these two janitors was their managers. The “empty” janitor worked for an average manager. That manager saw the janitor as someone who performed simple duties – empty the trash, mop the floors, replace supplies. In the manager’s mind, anyone could perform these duties.

The “fulfilled” janitor had an extraordinary manager. The manager didn’t focus on the duties completed. Rather, the manager concentrated on outcomes. The manager would say to the janitor, “we can count on you to keep our co-workers and customers safe and healthy.” There is great meaning in those words. The manager understood this and so did the janitor.

The results were striking. The “empty” janitor did what was required and not much more. The “fulfilled” janitor was a hub in the building sharing news and stories with other employees and greeting visitors. The fulfilled janitor brightened the days of others. Everyone interacting with this janitor left with smiles on their faces. The empty janitor stayed on the fringes and shadows knowing little value was placed on him.

Sometimes the jobs most taken for granted are the most important. In 1986, the sanitation workers of Philadelphia went on strike. Garbage piled up throughout the city. Citizens began bringing their garbage to the steps of city hall. At the time, no job in Philadelphia was more important than those of the sanitation workers. The mayor and city council may have forgotten that before the strike. The citizens were made painfully aware of it during.

Every job has meaning otherwise it shouldn’t exist. Every employee should know the importance of their job. If they don’t know the value they bring to their organization, their leader should help them realize the link between their activities and the organization’s goals.

Personal accomplishment is a strong driver of employee engagement. In fact, Modern Survey’s research shows it trails only career development and belief in the organization among the key drivers of engagement. Extraordinary managers know how to build a sense of personal accomplishment among their employees regardless of the role they fill.

To learn how Modern Survey can help your organization transform its culture or create a culture of engagement, email ask@modernsurvey.com or call 612-399-3837.

One response to “Employee Engagement Through Personal Accomplishment”

  1. Absolutely delightful. Organisations need to facilitate personal accomplishment for ensuring employee engagement. Thanks for posting.

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