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One of the most talked about aspects of leadership is how to motivate and engage employees. Throughout this course, we'll talk about many tactics and approaches you might try. But first, it's important that we set the context. Let's start by clearly differentiating a few terms that are often seen as similar. Job satisfaction, Motivation, and Engagement. years ago everyone thought job satisfaction was the ultimate goal. Job satisfaction refers to how content one is with their overall job or certain aspects of their job.
What we learned the high job satisfaction doesn't necessarily translate into high productivity. Some time it does some time it doesn't. Under the right conditions it is entirely possible to have high job satisfaction and low productivity. If standards are low and accountability is low, management has created a situation where people might be quite content and yet not accomplish much. As thinking evolved we became more focused on the concept of motivation. The questions became what drives people, and how can we use this knowledge to make happier, more productive, and more satisfied teams.
In this course I'll share a lot of what we've learned, but I'd like to be clear about what you're really trying to achieve. As we moved from a myopic focus on job satisfaction to a more productive focus on the roots of motivation, we discovered the concepts of employee engagement. Whereas motivation is a broad concept including many types of psychological theories and tactics, engagement is more specific. Employee engagement is viewed by many as the modern version of job satisfaction. Defined as an employee's involvement with commitment to and satisfaction with their work.
Engagement can be positive or negative, but the goal is clearly to create strong positive engagement. Engaged employees feel emotionally attached to their work as if their work has purpose. They identify not only with their role, but the whole organization. That means they have moved past short term compliance, into real, long term commitment. These are the employees capable of boosting morale an productivity in the organization to new levels. So how common are engaged employees. Research suggests that maybe 30% of American workers are engaged, or strongly engaged.
that means that 70% of employees are some level of disengage at work. The number one cause for most businesses is the cost of labor. So low engagement is estimated to cost the US economy a few hundred billion every year. A similar dynamic would appear in any economy around the globe. This tells us that leaders have a huge opportunity, some would say an urgent need, to increase employee engagement. Let's begin addressing this opportunity by first focusing on you.
One reason leaders fail to engage employees is because leaders tend to be among the most engaged group of professionals. One very common mental mistake is to assume others are experiencing things the same way you experience things. Because leaders are often very engaged, they assume others are too, which is a huge mistake. Another big challenge for busy leaders is to realize that motivation an engagement one size does not fit all. Too often we think about things that will be motivating, instead of thinking about individual people and how we might motivate them.
Everyone is different. So motivation and engagement are just about company programs and incentives. But tailored efforts directed at individuals as well. As we move through the course I will help you think about additional challenges for engagement in many specific tips and practices that will help you. For now remember that you will find personal and team success by developing engaged employees. Employees who do more then just comply, they feel genuine commitment.
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