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Harry and Meghan – the ultimate (employee) engagement

Hitting the ultimate employee engagement sweet spot

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or you’re very good at avoiding all social media and news channels) you will have heard something about the two hot topics sweeping the country last week: Meghan and Harry, and Laurel or Yanny.

Cries of ‘How can it be Laurel?’, ‘Who’s walking her down the aisle?’ or ‘How is this even news?!’ rang out across office, bars, social accounts and online forums. Whatever the answer, one thing’s for certain… both stories had the power to unite and divide in equal measure.

On social media alone, watching the comment-count ramp up by the minute saw peers and strangers alike add to the furore. Often entering into a heated debated, or is so often the case, falling foul of a social vacuum created by naturally gravitating to the comfort of those who ‘think like me’.

 

So why is this fascinating to internal communicators?

Simon Sinek’s well-versed Start With Why TED sums it up simply – give people a why and they’ll buy into your product or purpose evangelically. Where’s there’s no ‘why’, there’s confusion. Why do I hear Yanny and you hear Laurel? Why is one person’s fairytale wedding the other’s worst nightmare?

When the Yanny/Laurel conundrum was explained by splitting the frequency of the recording and explaining that we simply hear higher or lower sound frequencies to others, suddenly it all made more sense. But what happens if there is no unifying, resolute why? What then?

Listening to the radio one morning, and admittedly not being the biggest Royalist (or at all, in fact), I heard one chap asked why he gave a care in the world about the wedding of the year. I listened intently, ready to dismiss his response. His reason? “I’ve seen the boy grown up in the press and get a hard time for nearly 30 years, shouldn’t we celebrate the good with him now as well? It only seems fair.” Oh.

Getting excited about Royal weddings isn’t something I ‘get’ per se; but still, I do understand his why. And that made me more willing to get on board with it.

 

A lesson for us all

It’s self-evident that presenting the ‘why’ of a brand or product gives meaning to customers and its employees. That much we know.

What’s easier to overlook, is the ‘why’ that drives the views and emotions of its people. What’s their motivational factor? Purpose? Belonging? Making a difference? Feeding their family? By making sure the business understands employees’ ‘why’ as well as promoting the purpose of the brand to its people, we’ll hit the sweet spot in the ultimate engaged workforce Venn diagram.

Our advice? Spark the debate. And listen to the answer. Give your employees the comfort that the business and team they work for are people like them, and are willing to understand what drives their ‘why’.

Becky Chelin, Head of Client Services

 


 

If you need help exploring and identifying what drives your people to become a highly-performing workforce, get in touch at hello@scarlettabbott.co.uk to find out more.