Companies talk about hiring young people to tap their energy and enthusiasm, but when those energetic, enthusiastic folks show up for their first day the older folks just want the youngins to calm down.
Think about what it is like to bring a new puppy into a house. Puppies pee on the carpet. Puppies have a different energy than an adult dog. They can be overwhelming. Organizations say they want young, fresh energy, so be ready for it. If you invest in these puppies – if you give young workers training – then it is better for the organization in the long run.
One day, one of those puppies is going to be the CEO.
I often tell my sons, “Look alive!” Look up, be aware, pay attention. This advice is valuable for anyone. In a time when we can be distracted by our technology, we have to engage. We have to choose to live and choose to grow. You gotta wanna. You have to want this. Leadership, growth and moving forward are all about engagement. When you choose to make a change, to do something differently, that is when the real change occurs.
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Nothing is more important to the longevity of an organization than engaging employees. That starts with investing in human capital, starting with you. Invest in employee training, and tap your network of friends for ideas.
Cross-pollination is also important in business. People should challenge themselves to be uncomfortable because that is when growth occurs. Go to conferences outside your comfort zone, go to networking events and talk with strangers, and have a plan to keep your eyes on the prize. Focus on the results to keep moving forward. We only get one chance to live this life – what are we doing about it?
Tobias Kennedy, CEO of Simpolicy and EVP of Montage Insurance Solutions, is a big believer in employee engagement. Kennedy explained, “A big differentiator is culture. You want everyone in the company singing from the same song sheet.”
When you choose to make a change, to do something differently, that is when the real change occurs.
Kennedy added that he agreed with attending conferences outside one’s comfort zone. When someone from your organization goes to a conference, or watches a podcast, they should bring back something tangible to the team. This will ensure they are paying attention, if they know they have to report on it later, and the other team members can take a little something away, even if they weren’t there.
To promote engagement, Kennedy holds Town Hall Meetings. Everyone in the company is given a chance to speak and share their ideas, which he said can be very valuable. Kennedy said he also has tried special staff meetings when attendees write five fun facts about themselves on a piece of paper and tape it to their chest. “This is a fun, silly, easy way for an organization to break down barriers,” he offered.
Are you a puppy ready for more training? Check out this guide from The Strategic Hotbox!