Satisfied staff is what you are looking for when you look at this page. You want people to be eager to work for your company or organisation and to enjoy working there for a long time, contributing a lot to the know-how, growth and good cooperation within the company.
What does it take to make this happen?
The answer changes constantly. Each generation has a different view of work ethic and seeks different fulfilment in work. Yet, across the board, there are a number of factors that generally remain true. After all, people are still people. Below are a number of factors, some obvious and others not so obvious.
Show me the money
To begin with, the financial compensation. If you ask people "what would you do if you won 100 million?", 99% of the time the first thing they indicate is to stop working. Without fair and market-based financial compensation, employee satisfaction and loyalty are vulnerable and turnover will be high.
Then there is the range of tasks and especially the degree of autonomy within the job, which determines a large part of people's job satisfaction. People also work to learn and grow, for recognition and status. Give people confidence and the necessary guidance and coaching and keep believing in their abilities and qualities. If this fails time and again, it is better to ask yourself whether there is a match than to allow yourself to be seduced into outdated management styles that are distrusting, controlling or autocratic. That will not give anyone more job satisfaction.
Social cohesion on the shop floor is more important than you think. On a bad day, people derive their energy to go to work from the social contacts that exist. Seeing colleagues, talking to each other and exchanging views. It is the human need to connect, to belong, to be seen and accepted. Also, 1 in 3 love affairs starts at work. So give people the opportunity to be social with each other. You can even regulate it with fixed rituals such as joint coffee breaks, birthday celebrations, drinks moments, having lunch together, intranet, internal chat systems, etc. This makes employees happier and more connected with each other, so they are less likely to switch to another employer. In addition, the online informal connections allow for cross-fertilisation which leads to innovation and creative solutions to problems. That is the power of social cohesion.
Culture eats strategy for breakfast
Corporate culture is everything else that is intangible in a company. You can't pinpoint it directly but it is persistent. It ultimately determines the overall success of the company. The board and management can come up with all kinds of things like mission, values and strategy, but ultimately these are overtaken by the actual behaviour of people. Culture is the way people listen to each other, give each other appreciation, it is the space an individual gets to be himself, it is the way people react to failures but also to successes, it is the distance between management and shop floor, it is the budget that is set aside for team outings and other staff events, it is the work-life balance that is/is not there, it is the degree to which (chronic) stress is normalised and the safety that employees experience in expressing themselves honestly. In short, it is a set of decisions, attitude and behaviour at all levels within the company. It is not easy to change culture. But if you want to do it, start by cultivating more mindfulness (awareness, peace, acceptance). with connecting (non-violent) communication and with coaching leaders.
How I can contribute?
With mindfulness, an awareness can arise for what is going on inside yourself. You learn to explore and recognise negative reactions in the body, in feelings and in thoughts. More peace and space can be created between an observation and the reaction to it. This allows more choice in how to react in order to break free from unhealthy patterns.
Scientific research into the effects of the official mindfulness training (MBSR) shows that the negative experience of stress is reduced and that participants are better able to deal with work pressure and tension. Mindfulness can therefore improve the personal effectiveness and performance of employees. Positive effects of mindfulness are
Better mental and emotional fitness
More pleasure in work and motivation
More calmness, focus and better concentration
Less absenteeism due to stress-related complaints
Improved communication and cooperation
More creativity and problem-solving abilities
Better prioritisation and overview
If you really want to understand people, you will first have to park your judgements and assumptions. Every person is driven and motivated by needs and desires. Needs such as recognition, self-confidence, contributions, meaning, certainty, etc. Needs are life energies. They are universal in that everyone can recognise them and at the same time they are dynamic. Not everyone experiences the same needs at the same time. These needs explain everything about why someone exhibits certain behaviour. The degree to which the needs are met, in turn, explains the feelings and emotions that are present. If I desperately want to be recognised for my efforts in a certain project, but the conversation keeps going in the direction of disappointing results, I will experience frustration, irritation, despondency.
Marshall Rosenberg developed the model of Nonviolent Communication, also called Connecting Communication. The model consists of 4 steps in which empathy and the intention to connect, form the red thread. Sincerity and authenticity are indispensable. Every form of agenda and manipulation will have a counterproductive effect. Only when you and the other person really feel heard and understood will there be the openness to explore new strategies together that meet everyone's needs.
Executives are role models in a company and also crucial key figures who maintain and reinforce the company culture or challenge it. At the same time, like any manager, you know that your performance and success depend on the relationship with your team. This relationship is precarious and requires a lot of investment. It is constantly challenged by time pressure, stress, conflicting interests, fuck-ups, conflicts, judgements, changes, etc. You can use some help and handles. I can help you to understand yourself better and accept yourself lovingly as you are. That is the starting point. From there you can learn to lead more from inner strength, calmness and wisdom.
In addition to executives, I regularly coach employees who need a little extra support and attention, for example to find their balance again after a life event, to reinterpret after a burn-out, to explore their own needs and desires to take the next step, etc.