Great relationships: We know from Gallup research that people join an organization and leave a boss.

A dissonant relationship with one’s boss is downright painful. So too are bad relationships with colleagues.

Leaders, managers, and employees all shared with the researchers that close, trusting and supportive relationships are hugely important to their state of mind — and their willingness contribute to a team.

Added up, brain science and our organizational research are in fact debunking the old myths: To be fully engaged, in other words to have fun and enjoy one’s work, people need vision, meaning, purpose, and resonant productive relationships. It’s on individuals to find ways to live our values at work and build great relationships.

When they do, they have “fun” at work. In other words, they find their work fulfilling which motivates them to stay engaged and do more to contribute to the whole.

Research from the Hay Group (Hay Group, 2015*) finds that highly engaged employees are, on average, 50% more likely to exceed expectations than the least-engaged workers. And companies with highly engaged people outperform firms with the most disengaged folks—by 54% in employee retention, by 89% in customer satisfaction, and by fourfold in revenue growth.

Recent research by Dan Cable from the London Business School, shows that employees who feel welcome to express their authentic selves at work exhibit higher levels of organizational commitment, individual performance, and propensity to help others.

It’s on leaders to create an environment where people can thrive. People want to be a part of something bigger than themselves, something they can believe in. People want to do good work—to feel they matter in an organization that makes a difference in the lives of others.

They want to work in a place that magnifies their strengths, not their weaknesses, and connects them with others who complement their strengths to deliver multiplicative results to customers.

That’s fulfilling, and that’s fun. For that, they need both autonomy and a continuous improvement infrastructure within an organization that is coherent in articulating its vision, honest, and purposeful in its daily work processes.

It’s simple and it’s practical: if you want an engaged workforce, pay attention to how you create a vision, link people’s work to your company’s larger purpose, and reward people who resonate and are productive with others.

Connecting the dots

Can you see how these Colleague Engagement approaches also connect back to the three key strategy execution steps?

  1. Differentiating your organization in the market;
  2. Engaging your associates to execute seamlessly;
  3. Measuring performance to expectations and adjusting course as necessary.

*The Hay Group. CEO Performance Evaluation Survey. 2015.

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