“Happiness Isn’t the Key to Employee Engagement” Webinar Takeaways

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Last Tuesday, our Sales and Strategy Specialist, Christina, had the opportunity to tune in to a Diverse Talent Strategies webinar titled “Happiness Isn’t the Key to Employee Engagement.” She heard from Nikki Lewallen, from Emplify, who stressed that rather than focusing on happiness and gaining engagement as a result, we must do the reverse: focus on engagement and gain happiness as the result. For the Ohana team, there were three big takeaways from this webinar that workplaces should be taking into account when driving employee engagement.

1. “87% of organizations cited culture and engagement as 2 of their top challenges.” -Emplify 2018 Survey

This is a staggering number, but not a staggering statistic. By investing in people, we are magnifying our capabilities. In the book “Traction,” Gino Wickman discusses the concept of thinking of each employee as a laser. If each laser is pointing in the same direction, you can have a great impact. In short, investing in your team allows you to do more.

2. We need to learn to lead, not manage.

Admittedly, this is easier said than done. The comparison between old preferences of managers who dictate, measure contribution in terms of time, and only communicating with employees on a “needs to know” basis is becoming a thing of the past. It is being replaced by leaders who can inspire action, measure results (not hours), and can conduct business with vulnerability and honesty. Leadership teams have a responsibility to create a challenging and meaningful environment for their employees.

3. Meaning is what drives employee engagement – not happiness.

In the webinar, meaning was defined as “the sense of value received (purpose, money, status, and influence) when we immerse and express ourselves in our role performances.” The image to the to the left, a slide from the webinar itself, visualizes this definition. Notice that happiness is not a main motivator. Understanding your employees means you can help them find meaning in their work. By making the work meaningful, your employees will be happy to contribute to your team and be more engaged as a result.

Emplify highlighted points and tactics that explained why having a tool like Ohana is important. While technology may not be the only part of your engagement strategy, it allows to communicate with your employees more effectively, ultimately empowering leaders to truly make a change.