CURRENCIES OF CHOICE Might Safe Your Staff
SOCIAL & EMOTIONAL SUPPORT Can Help You Keep Your Best People
Emotional and Social Support and the “Currencies of Choice.”
I read a really interesting article about employee engagement the other day. It’s called: I Spoke to 5,000 People and These are the Real Reasons They’re Quitting, by Kim Seeling Smith of Atlassian.
I think the title of the article is trying to capitalize on the commonly reported-upon phenomena out there that people are leaving their jobs in record numbers in these CE times (Covid Era-haha, get it? OK, not really funny.). The traditional take is that people are leaving their jobs in droves because they’ve suddenly realized that life is short and they want more out of it than just a job—they want more work-life balance, more free time, less stress, less “is-this-all-there-is?” etc etc. And that’s sort of what this author is writing about, although in a backwards fashion, I think. I say backwards because she goes on to enumerate 9 factors that her research indicates keeps employees motivated and engaged, and ultimately keeps them in their jobs longer. She calls them the Currencies of Choice. So I think the title of the article should be, I Spoke to 5,000 People and These are the Real Reasons They Would NEVER Quit.
Anyway, that’s neither here nor there.
What is here AND there is that these 9 factors, these so-called currencies of choice, are essentially all about Emotional and Social Support, which—you got it!—is what I speak about in my job as a motivational speaker. What this smart woman is researching and writing about is actually what I speak about—people are happier, more engaged, more motivated in their work and home lives when they are given emotional and social support.
Really, none of these emotional and social support factors should come as a surprise in the employee retention world. But in case you’re wondering here they are. The 9 “Currencies of Choice” which keep workers engaged and invested in their jobs are the following (according to the article):
1 .to work for companies with similar values.
2. to work with leaders they trust and respect.
3. to work with leaders they like.
4. to be appreciated in their jobs.
5. to work where they have a voice.
6. work with clearly communicated expectations.
7. to grow and learn in their jobs and careers.
8. to be inspired to fulfill the company’s purpose.
9. to enjoy their work by working to their strengths.
Cool, huh? Now, why do I say that these factors can be boiled down to Emotional and Social Support? When I travel to various business and association meetings to speak on this topic, it is clear that the most successful businesses with the most engaged and contented work force are those that have invested in maintaining their employees’ emotional and social support. The ways that they invest in this important measure of worker health align almost perfectly with the factors listed above.
What I say over and over to my audiences is that no matter what business you are in, you are really in the PEOPLE business. People are at the heart of every widget you sell, every bagel you bake, every child you teach, every patient you treat, every …. I could go on and on. Each of those 9 factors above have a common theme: they are about recognizing, understanding, and acknowledging that PEOPLE are the core of your business. If your business fails to take that into account, it will fail on many different levels.
Thus, the importance, the necessity, of social and emotional support in your organization.
For example, one indicator of emotional and social support at work that she highlights in her list is employee appreciation. And by employee appreciation I don’t mean a cheesy card and a complimentary lunch offered once a year on “Employee Appreciation Day.” That is the most two-dimensional, plain vanilla interpretation you can imagine of employee appreciation. What I mean goes so much deeper. Here we go: What the article says is that employees want to work with leaders and co-workers who are genuine and purposeful, who believe in what they’re doing, who recognize that their employees make important contributions to the success of the operation, who listen and take into account their workers’ opinions, who understand their employees’ need to grow, and who don’t hesitate to acknowledge and validate their fellow workers in every aspect of the job. That is a rich and robust definition of employee appreciation and social and emotional support.
I can speak for days on emotional and social support. But I won’t here. If you want to learn more, and trust me, you WANT to learn more, please call me and let’s go the extra mile by bringing in a motivational speaker (me!) who can encourage and inspire and educate your employees on how to reach their full potential for the good of the organization and everybody associated with the organization. Simple. Thanks for reading!