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December 13, 2011

Edith Onderick-Harvey 4

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It's mid-December and we're all looking toward the end of the year.  We're probably feeling more tired than we did on January 1.  We've probably faced some challenges this year that may have  beaten us down.  We're feeling the need to get re-energized and re-engaged.  The same is probably true for our people.

Many of you have performance reviews scheduled in the next few weeks.  These are a great opportunity to start re-engaging and re-energizing everyone on your team.

I've written and presented  many times about the real drivers of engagement and motivation.  Thomas and Tyman refer to them a meaning, autonomy, progress and competence.  Dan Pink talks about autonomy, mastery and purpose.  In the review, take some time to talk about engagement.  I advise not using the word engagement in the conversation and not asking "how engaged do you feel at work?"  These generally cause people to roll their eyes and steel themselves for a conversation about the latest fad which they hope passes very quickly.

The thing is, what Thomas, Tyman and Pink talk about are not fads.  These factors have been researched for decades and shown to be at the core of real, sustainable engagement.

So, how do you have this conversation? Ask about what the individual finds interesting about the job.  Ask what she likes to do best.  Have him rate how much progress he feels he's been able to make in the past year.  Find out if the individual feels equipped to meet the challenges of the job.  Ask what change would make the most difference.  Then ask yourself how you can bring more of that to the work and the workplace.



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About Edith Onderick-Harvey

Edith Onderick-Harvey is a highly regarded consultant, leadership and talent expert, and speaker. Edith is frequently quoted in the media including The New York Times, CNN.com, HR Executive, and American Executive. A case study of her work with Harvard University is featured in The Conference Board publication "Evidence-based HR in Action." As the President of Factor In Talent,  Edith works with leaders to take performance -- their own, their team's and their organization's -- to the next level.