Inspiration, Kindness, and Self-care

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Given the extraordinary low levels of engagement in the U.S. workforce — a recent Gallup poll showed that 70% of employees are “not engaged” or “actively disengaged” at work — many leaders are looking for solutions. Some turn to material perks (bonuses, game rooms, free food) in the hopes of making employees happier. However, research suggests that these efforts, while appreciated, do not address more effective drivers of long-term well-being. Instead, leaders should be mindful about giving their employees three things: Inspiration, Kindness, and Self-care.

Psychology Today On-line

July 18, 2016

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I have the privilege of working with several health care organizations as they undertake major system change. On a recent visit to see a number of these organizations, two organizations stood out from the rest as top performers with highly engaged staff.  From what I observed, both these organizations embodied the characteristics discussed in the Psychology Today on-line article emphasizing three leadership characteristics that foster engaged employees: inspiration, kindness and self-care. What struck me as I met with these two organizations was the meaning and purpose both the leaders and staff conveyed as they worked to improve their patients lives. I also noticed their camaraderie and sense of fun and enjoyment of each other’s company. It was obvious that leadership provided an inspiration that was contagious in the best possible sense of the word. Staff took on leadership roles in their own area of expertise and each of their contributions were valued.  The kind, warm and positive relationships that they naturally expressed as they communicated with each other was palpable and a joy to be around. Each of these organizations had time for relaxation and breaks from work. Additionally, everyone enjoyed each others company enough that they spend time outside of work on fun outings together. In the case of these two organizations the three intangible characteristics of inspiration, kindness, and self-care have resulted in highly engaged workers with high performermance. There is something else I noticed, these intangibles have created a wake of innovation where these two organizations are able to see solutions that others miss. I left my visit grateful and inspired.

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