In reaching out to employees and customers, organizations are realizing that engagement begins beyond their own walls. ClubCorp, which markets itself as the World Leader in Private Clubs and Resorts, introduced a concept to attract and retain members by appealing to their interests. The concept, “Clubs without Walls,” recognizes that the company’s members bring dreams and aspirations that go beyond services that can be provided in the Club environment.
Employees and others with whom we come in contact have dreams and aspirations they bring to the workplace, as well. In fact, these dreams and aspirations are an important part of making them “engagement ready,” motivated to create value through a spirit of teamwork. The success of these individuals in the work environment depends, to a large degree, on their sense of fulfillment and their recognition that their teammates care about their personal success, as well as their contributions in the workplace.
It would seem then, that our success in developing a spirit of engagement depends on our willingness to know our teammates as individuals, and to be willing to help them achieve their personal goals.
Recently, I read a story written by Bob Proctor, CEO of Life Success Productions, in which he described a conversation that illustrated this point. Bob had an employee, who in her previous career was a golf pro. In speaking with her about her work with his organization and her level of satisfaction there, Bob sensed an unusual degree of excitement when she described a program she had developed before she joined his company.
The employee had been arranging golf trips for women in small groups. Although the participants were given the opportunity to play golf with a pro and receive personal instruction about the game, it was not necessary or common for them to be expert golfers. Instead, the women took the opportunity to focus on the relaxation of this time, and the companionship with other members of the group. Many of these women followed up with one another and the golf pro after the trips, to maintain these relationships and describe the value they continued to receive from them.
Bob said this conversation helped him understand how he could be doing a better job with his own people. He believes business owners have an obligation to create an environment in which every person “grows as a human being and develops more of their potential, so they can truly become all they are meant to become.” He believes that to do this, every person must have a dream.
So, Bob decided to help his employee by encouraging her to continue with her program, and he supported her in doing so. He introduced his employee to others by saying,
“Kathy Gallagher is a beautiful person. She is a good friend. I feel very
fortunate being able to introduce you to her and to her Ladies Luxury Golf
Bob felt that as long as his employee performed well in her work with his organization, there was no reason not to encourage her to continue in her interest in the golf trips. He found a way to create a win-win, by highlighting this interesting offering. In turn, he was able to share with others the professionalism of his staff, build employee morale, and create added value for his contacts.
How would you introduce your employees and teammates to others? Although the circumstances may be different, there is always a way to appreciate the dreams of employees, and help them fulfill them. This might come in the form of introductions, recognition, a bonus to help the employee succeed, or adjustments in their schedule, assignments, or professional development opportunities to help them fulfill these goals.
As you look at your fellow employees, customers, and other contacts in this way, your business can expand. The offerings of your company are shown as going “beyond the walls” to make a much greater and more positive impact.
To begin this process, ask yourself the following questions:
What are my dreams and ambitions?
What are those of my teammates? My customers?
How can these interests and abilities be recognized in the team environment?
How can they create value, now and in the future?
How does sharing these dreams and ambitions help employees learn from, and support one another, in the work environment?
How are the gifts and interests of employees captured and included in the future planning for my company?