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Igniting a Fire in Each of Your Employees

April 19, 2019

A life-altering discovery. Fire is transformative to our existence as human beings. Think about the impact fire has on modern day society:

  • Our smart phones and televisions are produced using energy created by fire.
  • Our foods are cooked and preserved via fire.
  • Our manufacturing industries are powered by fire.
  • Fire has been used in agriculture and pasteurization.
  • We used fire to help eradicate the plague.
  • We have even used fire to help clean up oil spills.

Going back further in time we lit homes using candles, and caves were lit using controlled fires and torches. The heat created by fire allowed for migration to colder areas and created the opportunity for gatherings and more communal experiences. Fire fostered a collective community.

Fire has also been a destructive force that has cost lives, property and created health issues. Fire is a tool when approached with respect and a danger when taken lightly for the powerful force that it is.

Employee engagement is no different. It is a tool that can ignite the fire within each of your employees when respected, focused, and taken seriously. When you ignite the fire in your employees it can be transformative to your business:

  • We (F&H Solutions Group) worked with a technology company that added 11 million to their profits after one year of earnestly addressing employee engagement issues.
  • Companies with engaged employees see 233% greater customer loyalty and a 26% greater annual increase in revenue according to Aberdeen.
  • Highly engaged business teams result in 21% greater profitability according to Gallup.
  • Employee engagement programs can increase profits by $2400 per employee per year according to Workplace Research Foundation.
  • Companies with highly engaged employees have up to 71% less turnover according to F&H Solutions Group.
  • According to F&H Solutions Group, engaging your sales team increases new sales cycles by 350%, referrals by 130%, contacts with new prospects by 150% and revenue from new accounts by 56%.

However, when seen as a human resources project or a check off the box activity it fuels a destructive force within your employees. Too many companies have fostered anger in their workplace by not truly respecting the relationship employees develop with the organization.

So how do we ignite the fire within our employees? The same way we create real fire. First, we need the right elements. The elements we use to create fire are found in a model called the fire triangle:

OXYGEN. Fire needs oxygen to breathe. Without oxygen you can’t create fire.

FUEL. A fire needs something that will burn. This is the foundation of a fire.

HEAT. We must raise the temperature to the point of ignition. The combination of those three elements creates a chemical reaction called fire. When it comes to organizations and employees those same three elements are needed.

 

OXYGEN. The oxygen in an organization is the culture and leadership. Culture and leadership are the aspects of an organization that allow employees to breathe; to work productively.

The right culture and leadership allow employees to help an organization achieve and become successful. Culture and leadership foster a focus on the customer and the activities that will make a difference. When culture and leadership are a poor fit an employee’s efforts are hampered and they are less effective. Values can play a key role when it comes to creating a culture that works. However, the values must be lived and not just espoused.

• FUEL. The foundation of an organization is their brand/their story. It is the reason the organization exists-the why. Nothing is more powerful than giving customers and employees something to hang their hat on. People want to work for companies that do well and help the broader community either by the work they do or as a byproduct of the work they do. Some organizations use vision, mission and values, while others use brand identification, brand promises and brand pillars.

• HEAT. We must raise the passion level of our people. Each individual connects to the organization for different reasons and in different ways. It is our job to find out what makes each of our employees tick and help make those connections.

o What type of recognition do they like?

o How much recognition do they need?

o Do they like freedom?

o Do they want structure?

o How do they develop trust?

o Are they private?

o Do they prefer sociable relationships at work?

o What types of assignments do they love?

o What types of work drives them crazy?

o What are their long term career goals?

o Have we made them more marketable and competitive in

the job market lately?

o How have we fostered strong teamwork and collaboration?

And so much more.

Each of these elements alone are essential. They each help organizations in different ways and are important to the functioning of any business. However, without all three there is no chemical reaction. No fire. No transformative experience. Without all three we lose the opportunity for a competitive advantage and the return on investment based on all of our efforts and expenditures.

The combination of these three elements create fire in our employees and high engagement levels in our organizations.