Today, dealership managers view poor employee engagement as one of their biggest challenges. Sales managers imply that employees do not seem to care about having a long-term career in the car business. Salespeople believe that, regardless of how well they perform, their contribution is never good enough.
Both parties are correct because all individuals' perceptions are "true" for them. One particular case study client sold 26 cars in one month. When the owner of the company acknowledged his efforts, words were exchanged. Within seconds, interpretations were made. The coaching opportunity presented itself when I was able to help the client to understand that all people come with a personal guidance system that is similar to the navigation system in the cars that we sell. It tells us when to turn, merge, and stop. It will also say "recalculating" when we need to take a moment to evaluate and learn from the experience that yielded the undesirable result.
In this example, a simple "great job last month" would have validated this employee. Yet, the owner stated, "Just think, you could have hit a higher sales target if you'd worked [on] your days off." It was the last thing that the salesperson expected to hear. Initially, he felt unappreciated, although he began to question his decision to take days off. This experience prompted an internal conversation that eventually led to conflicting feelings. His interpretation of the event forced him to make a choice between his family time and his career potential, both of which he valued deeply and neither of which he was willing to sacrifice. It was only after this client looked at his own personal values and sought to understand the owner's values that he was able to attribute a more positive meaning to what was said.
Employee engagement is a measurable degree of an employee's positive or negative emotional attachment to their job, colleagues and organization which profoundly influences their willingness to learn and perform at work. By helping your employees to identify their personal values, they will become better equipped to avoid the pitfalls of experiencing an internal value conflict. In addition, they will be more prepared to incorporate their values into their own personal brand strategy, showing up at work prepared to leverage their authentic self. By creating a culture of engaged employees who are fully involved in, and enthusiastic about their work, each person will begin to act in a way that furthers the organization's interests, as well as their own. Also, having a personal brand statement for each employee is equally as important as the company's mission statement. When we clearly know our direction, we rarely have to listen for the word "recalculating".
In this case, the salesperson identified his personal values, then began to self-direct. By taking action with a purpose, he consciously chose a different thought. That thought led to a behavior that ultimately delivered him more desirable results. That is, he could master the behavior and own the results. Encouraging autonomy in your organization can lead to reduced conflict, and increase employee engagement. As your people learn to recognize, understand, and acknowledge their own operating system, they will begin to take responsibility for their own actions and focus less on what other people are doing.