What if there were three powerful questions you could ask yourself to evaluate if you’re working in the right job, in the right industry, for the right person? And similarly, for those of you who are bosses and business owners, how about if you had three of the most important questions that your employees would be able to affirmatively answer, to be able to feel confident that it is the right fit for them?
Well, I’m going to share these with you because it is essential so that people aren’t in limbo. Should I stay? Should I go? Not only that, of course, sometimes we leave a job because we think the grass is greener, but it’s not always greener. Only 30% of North Americans are truly satisfied and engaged at work because a lot of workplaces aren’t terribly satisfying and engaging places to be.
Similarly, when we answer affirmatively to these questions, we know we are working for the right organization. If we can’t answer 100% affirmatively to some, it gives us a sense of direction and purpose because all of them, we have a role to play in being able to fuel our own career and job satisfaction forward. And similarly, bosses and owners, you have an opportunity to help close the gap.
These questions can also explore collectively as a team or a whole organization. I don’t mean every two years when we do pulse surveys. I mean at staff meetings, in one-on-one conversations, and in performance appraisals. So, what are these three questions?
1. Am I respected?
Number one, am I respected? If people do not feel psychologically safe, you will not get your best from people. There are a number of questions that go into this answer:
- Is my environment free of bullying and disruptive behaviour?
- Do I have an opportunity to access learning and promotions available?
- Am I encouraged to stretch?
- Do people ask me what I want to do next?
- Are my knowledge, skills, and experience valued?
For some of my clients, they are surprised when survey results say that people do not feel psychologically safe, but really sometimes it’s as simple as if they stand out from their peers, they get knocked down a peg (called Tall Poppy Syndrome). You may respect people – does everyone?
2. Do I feel heard?
The next one is regarding people feeling heard. Once it’s physically and psychologically safe, people can still grow bored and stagnant.
- Are my suggestions and suggestions valued?
- Do I feel like my ideas are acted on?
- Am I rewarded for innovating and creating efficiencies?
I feel heard when my ideas are taken seriously enough to be explored, and possibly, to lead to action. In every workplace, in every single industry, every employee needs to feel like somebody values and hears their ideas, because they will turn those ideas into complaints and negativity if there isn’t a place to constructively process barriers or perceived challenges.
3. Am I appreciated?
Then the third thing is, am I appreciated?
- Are the unique talents, passions and virtues that you have honoured and appreciated?
- Are differences valued?
- Do I have recent memories of peers or leaders acknowledging the value of my work?
You see, if I can’t affirmatively answer that people respect the individual as a unique contribution, then they likely feel like a number. “Numbers” are less likely to give discretionary effort, make suggestions for improvement, or innovate. Besides which, it’s so much easier to leave when you don’t feel like somebody would miss you.
So, I ask you, can you affirmatively say, “I am absolutely respected. I am always heard. And I am appreciated”? Leaders and business owners, can you say, “Everybody that works here knows they’re respected, have forums to be heard, and their unique contributions are valued.” If you can say “yes” to all of the questions, not only does this impact satisfaction and engagement, it also may be a red flag of intended turnover.
Want to join me in creating a recognition revolution? Why not share this with someone or the team you respect, value and appreciate? We spend more hours working than doing anything else; it better be time well spent.
Want to check out more resources about how you can recognize other’s greatness? Check out these articles: