Amadeus North America recently conducted our fourth edition of Engagement. This annual survey polls Amadeus people to gauge our collective attitudes about topics like job satisfaction, commitment, teamwork – and yes, even friendship. This year, 90 percent of our people participated, a positive indicator of an engaged workforce.
When we talk about personal maximization in the work environment, I have found through my years of experience several key attributes that when combined can create that culture where individual’s engagement and satisfaction are maximized. Through many years of studying workplace culture, I have come to identify five key attributes that, when combined, can create a culture that maximizes individuals’ engagement and satisfaction.
Align the person’s strengths with the job
According to Gallup, when individuals have the opportunity to use their strengths on a daily basis, they become six times more engaged. Just think about the times in your life when you made certain choices or selections. For example, choosing school subjects (like math versus science), sports or hobbies. I am sure your selection was based on the fact that you performed well at these things. When you do something well, you automatically enjoy it more. Why? Because you apply your natural strengths which come easy to you.
Build in the ability to make impact
Humans desire to have impact and make a difference. The right culture must allow individuals the freedom to act and have impact on a daily basis. Individuals need to feel they are contributing in a positive way; they need to feel good about themselves and their work. Making a difference is what we strive for. We want to go home each day feeling like we’ve earned our pay and have made a positive difference.
Prioritize employee development
At my previous company, folks were invited to take on new roles approximately every two years. At first, there was a natural inclination toward anxiety and frustration, but I quickly begin to see the benefits. First, I was forced to learn, grow and contribute in a role that was different from my own. Second, it was a great way to cover critical positions and succession planning, often a huge risk to most companies. Lastly, it fostered greater teamwork by allowing individuals to get to know each other during the cross-training. Cultures that focus on employee development attract and retain top talent – and maximize individual output.
Commit to leadership development
I always say, “People join or leave leaders, not companies.” Individuals want to work for leaders who offer clear direction, care about them, allow them to make mistakes and learn, and recognize their distinct contributions. When a company makes leadership development a priority and acts accordingly, talent maximization is achieved.
Having fun at work is essential, yet it’s sadly underrated. When people have fun as part of their daily work, they become more engaged and satisfied. The best cultures I have encountered are those where folks laugh and smile a lot. As we take our coffee and lunch breaks, I believe we also need to build in a few “laughing breaks” along the way. It’s a rare company that touts “Have Fun!” as a corporate value. Yet it’s one of the most important virtues in the corporate world that gets missed completely.
Amadeus offers amazing tools and resources to support personal maximization, like Gallup StrengthsFinder, Engage surveys, training and learning opportunities – and much more. At the end of the day, it’s up to each of us as individuals to take control of our own satisfaction and engagement. I encourage you to take ownership of your personal growth, maximize your true potential, and strive to make a positive difference on the rest of the organization through your actions.
What is your favorite sport, hobby or activity, and how does it align with your personal strengths?