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By David Harder on August, 30, 2017

Engagement’s Morals, Values, and Ethics (Part One)

A good racing sailboat is built to get through any storm safely and quickly. It requires a keel to stay upright. One of the world’s most successful and upright leadership organizations the US Marines. Its keel is a code of conduct based on a series of morals, values, and ethics. By making these characteristics a way of life, every Marine becomes a leader.

When Inspired Work establishes engagement within an organization, one of the ways we sustain the breakthroughs is by establishing a collective code of conduct. Here six examples from The Workplace Engagement Solution (Career Press). Tomorrow, we will publish the other six.

Routinely engage in self-inquiry

48% of all Americans characterize themselves as “underemployed.” This means that at least half of our workers are having deep-seated trouble with change. When we began Inspired Work in 1990, people used our programs to change their professional lives, once or twice. Now, many of them use our curriculum all of the time. It is impossible to elicit strong change and engagement from people if they are not regularly examining their growth, desires, mission, vision, and purpose. Connecting with one’s truth creates ownership.

Pursue personal change before change impacts you

We used to derive our security from predictability and survival (the primary standards of the industrial revolution). Today, we build our security through growth. So, rather than waiting for change to impact us, we pursue personal and professional growth continually.

Demonstrate and practice enthusiasm for learning and growth

Many of us have been conditioned to treat personal growth as a pain. Certainly, real growth often includes discomfort. It helps to build cultures where we reward people for demonstrating courage, reinvention, progress, active learning, and progress-rather-than-perfection.

Communicate praise toward colleagues, customers, and direct reports.

Nothing fuels growth more effectively than making praise a practice. Self-esteem is based on having a direct experience of one’s productivity. There are plenty of workers that are productive but don’t know it because they are not getting regular and positive feedback. Praise builds retention, productivity, and it makes everyone feel better. For example, if you are in a bad mood, visit LinkedIn and praise 1/2 a dozen people.

Give high-quality attention to everyone and draw healthy attention to yourself 

Plenty of workers have been conditioned to seek attention through negativity and this is an engagement killer. Develop a culture that endorses positive attention. Recognize that we want individuals that not only give positive attention to others, they accept praise graciously when it is given to them. Quite simply, when someone says, “Oh it was nothing,” or “You shouldn’t have,” they are telling us, “Don’t pay attention to me.”

Tell the truth and seek the truth

This seems like a no-brainer, but consider that truth is no longer a commodity. By elevating truth as a non-negotiable characteristic, we develop greater certainty within all workers. It is all but impossible to do this without the support and practice of full transparency. Here is the, “Oops, what happened?” reality of today. If an organization or a leader isn’t practicing transparency, the truth will come out in really untoward ways. That is the nature of the real “information age.” Consider the impact of Glass Door and Indeed in forcing the issue of the “what you see is what you get” employer reality.

Why are clearly defined values such an important part of an engagement culture?

C.S. Lewis said,

“Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather make a more clever devil.”

What do you want in your organization?

Brought to you by David Harder – Founder & President, Inspired Work, Inc.

(C) Copyright, 2017, David Harder – (All Rights Reserved)

Get your copy of The Workplace Engagement Solution here.

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