Energized, happy and complete

Pivot is pleased to present this guest blog post from one of our most favourite change gurus, Phil Buckley, Director HR, Global Commercial, Kraft Foods/Cadbury.

I went for a run today, armed as usual with my Ipod Nano. This time it was pointed to songs from my early teens’ progressive rock past (I admit it). As I was ascending one of High Park’s brutal hills a song came on that I had loved so long ago. I suddenly remembered how I used to play my favourite part of the song over and over again, extending the overwhelming emotions I felt from it. I felt energized, happy and complete, every time it played.

Back on the hill, what fascinated me was how addictive these feeling are, and how we can feel them in our personal and professional lives. At work, organizations try to build colleague engagement through surveys, consultation and action planning. We know that increased engagement can lead to greater commitment, creativity, tenacity, better customer relationship and financial results. Do we make the mistake, however, of rationally approaching the goal of building emotional connections? Is our task to create an engagement plan that looks solid (and rational) and presentable or is it to create tailored experiences where people can feel energized, happy and complete?

If we did focus on emotions, then we might approach employee engagement differently. And do everything in our power to create an addictive work environment that enabled emotional connections to be made and felt, over and over again. In doing so, our employees might be more energized, happy and complete. They might also accomplish wonderful things they never thought were possible.