July 4: A Day to Remember Employees and Their Workplace Contributions

© seasonal art - Fotolia.com
© seasonal art - Fotolia.com

I had the pleasure recently of meeting David Zinger, founder of the Employee Engagement Network and thought leader on engagement, in Dublin. In a good traditional Irish pub, we discussed David’s involvement in the UK Employee Engagement Task Force.

Backed by Prime Minister David Cameron, the task force is chartered with ensuring organizations who want to learn about engagement can share best practices, training, tools and other support.

My discussion with David centered around our amazement that an entire country – as backed by the most senior leader – would invest itself so strongly in employee engagement. Why is David Cameron backing this? In his own words:

“This task force has my full support because I know that it will work to bring together two of my government’s top priorities – delivering sustainable growth across the UK, and coming up with new approaches to help people improve their well being.”

David and I wondered how powerful it would be if countries established core values – similar to how organizations do.

Why am I writing about this on July 4th, the date America celebrates its independence and beginnings as a nation? I believe the United States is one such nation. In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

I think Americans live up to that creed – pursuing life, liberty and happiness. Think what could happen in organizations if we once again flipped that “country engagement list” back to employers:

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“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all employees are created equal, that they are endowed by their employer with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Regardless of rank or role, all employees and their contributions are necessary to the success of their organization. What more could those employee achieve if they believed their employers truly wanted them to enjoy life (work/life balance), liberty (freedom to pursue growth opportunities) and the pursuit of happiness (that work can be fun if we create an environment that encourages it)?

For my American readers, Happy Fourth of July! For all readers, what would you create as a creed for your organization?

This originally appeared on Derek Irvine’s Recognize This! blog.

Derek Irvine is one of the world’s foremost experts on employee recognition and engagement, helping business leaders set a higher vision and ambition for their company culture. As the Vice President of Client Strategy and Consulting at Globoforce, Derek helps clients — including some of world’s most admired companies such as Proctor and Gamble, Intuit, KPMG, and Thomson Reuters — leverage recognition strategies and best practices to better manage company culture, elevate employee engagement, increase retention, and improve the bottom line. He's also a renowned speaker and co-author of Winning with a Culture of Recognition. Contact him at irvine@globoforce.com.

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