I have had my share of debates with senior leaders and even more than my fair share with HR professionals on this very question.
The key is not to run around trying to make your people feel happy. If that were the case we could simply send all of our people to Disneyland and let them spend every day there, as we know that it is the happiest place on earth!
We all know that is absurd, and yet these same HR professionals and senior leaders spend millions of dollars on surveys and assessments to get a pulse or a baseline of employee engagement and the issues that are preventing them from being “fully engaged.” I think we have over-baked the turkey when it comes to assessing engagement and trying to ensure they have “a best friend at work” today.
What I personally see and experience in organizations both large and small on this continent and all over the world is that engagement and sustainable results are created not by making people happy, but by enabling them. By enabling I mean ensuring that they have the skills, competencies and career path to excel with customers, to produce outstanding results, and to know if they do those things, they will be rewarded, recognized and promoted.
Start from the inside!
When your organization creates the internal conditions that enable people to excel at their jobs and serve customers exceptionally, it will drive high levels of employee engagement while simultaneously energizing employees.