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Bright Kids Need Engaging Work, Always

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Over at the Pivot Marketing blog, Sarah S. Grieb makes an new point about the ongoing employee engagement discussion. It’s not just about a sense of connection to the tasks that are in front of you, but also about intellectual stimulation.

The whole post on Pivot’s website is a great, quick read. Grieb opens with a discussion of a smart child who received additional assignments to keep her engaged:

When her brain was full, she was happy. And when she was happy, she wanted to work harder.

Those of us who know what it’s like to be the kid craving a challenge don’t want to be an adult starving for the same thing. And yet, so many of us are. According to a recent Gallup survey, only 30% of U.S. workers “feel a profound connection to their company”– and that’s high compared to the rest of the world.

Employee Engagement, Kid Reading

© Flickr user tamakisono

That poll gets a lot of traction. We’ve referenced it many times in our own posts on employee engagement, as well as in meetings and seminars. There’s plenty more research that shows what it takes to actually motivate people. Over at Pivot’s website, Greib continues:

Let’s start with what doesn’t keep employees engaged. It’s not a frilly perks package or a plush office. It’s not a vacation stipend or a bring-your-dog-to-work policy. Sure, these are all manifestations of a great employer, but free food and gym memberships are ultimately not what produces meaningful work.

Yup. Our own Ashley Lee just wrote about job perks and engagement. (Summary: the only “perk” that really matters is respect, which is fundamental and too often forgotten.)

But back to the image of a bright kid, reading ahead, working alone on advanced assignments. Maybe they don’t fit perfectly into the structure of the rest of the class. But a good teacher finds something for them to do which is of value. And isn’t that the kind of child that you want working in your company someday?

I imagine it is for Pivot Marketing. It’s no wonder they’re writing about employee engagement. It’s no wonder their changing the destinies of the organizations they serve.

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Robby Slaughter
Robby Slaughter is a workflow and productivity expert. He is a nationally known speaker on topics related to personal productivity, corporate efficiency and employee engagement. Robby is the founder of AccelaWork, a company which provides speakers and consultants to a wide variety of organizations, including Fortune 500 companies, regional non-profits, small businesses and individual entrepreneurs. Robby has written numerous articles for national magazines and has over one hundred published pieces. He is also the author of several books, including Failure: The Secret to Success. He has also been interviewed by international news outlets including the Wall Street Journal. Robby’s newest book is The Battle For Your Email Inbox.
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