I was at a social event with my next door neighbor, Tico Cornejo. Tico owns The Winehouse in Winnipeg. He shared a story about when he was younger one of his bosses wanted him to work overtime. Tico had to go to the doctor late in the day and his boss wanted Tico to return to work for some overtime. Rather than demanding overtime or making an expectation of it his boss said, “we would love to have you here after your appointment.” Tico wrote me after our conversation and added: “over and above the feeling of being needed, the “we” made it a “team effort” not just a personal request.” It is powerful and engaging to know that your boss and your workplace needs you.
Tico also talked about his daughter’s job and how much she enjoyed her work and how engaged she found her work. In talking about her engagement, Tico boldly stated, “It is so powerful to know you are needed!” In this case his daughter was needed by all the clients she worked with.
We can be needed by our boss, by our clients and customers, and by our organization. Do you know you are needed at your work? If you are a manager, do you fully let your staff know how much you need them?
We can get both convoluted and complicated with the strategies we concoct for organizations to improve employee engagement. Perhaps we are just making it all too damn complicated. Let’s not lose sight of Tico’s dictum: Ensure employees know they are needed.
David Zinger is a global employee engagement expert who loves learning about engagement from someone right next door.