This article is Chapter Two of Love ‘em or Leave ‘em: Keeping Your Talent in Love with Your Company (Chapter One)
Although you cannot buy true happiness, or “love” in this context, organizational leaders can create a culture where employees will love what they do, how they do it, and with whom they work.
Cohesion builds a community of workers who feel connected to their work and teammates, express a sense of value, and demonstrate a commitment to successfully achieving the common goals of the organization.
Some of the benefits of cohesion include:
- a strong air of teamwork
- improved morale
- reduced stress
- less absenteeism
- increased productivity
Helping your employees connect their purpose at work will lead directly to heartfelt gratitude and love in the workplace. (Of course, the most HR appropriate kind of love and affection.) Connecting purpose leads to employees expressing their passion, which is the joy people get from fulfilling their purpose.
Can’t Get No Satisfaction
In many instances, employers confuse satisfaction with love. Accurately measuring employee satisfaction is more than challenging, it’s downright difficult. When satisfaction at work is studied, the results of how engaged the employee feels does not have a direct causal impact on performance, attendance, or job commitment. It’s possible when people are content, they express actions of engagement like completing tasks, joining in potluck lunches, or singing Happy Birthday to a coworker. Although the presence of satisfaction is positive, it does not prove people have a level of engagement consistent with a cohesive mindset. It just means that employees are peaceful, pleased, and pacified.
Satisfaction, like engagement, in and of itself is unsustainable and elusive. Researchers have released findings to indicate that employee satisfaction does not mean employees are “engaged” in their jobs, surroundings, or co-workers. On the contrary, research findings have led me to assert that engagement is an outcome of individual working in cohesion with others. Therefore, instead of chasing after the love lost ideal of “satisfaction or engagement,” leaders should consider refocusing attention to creating a cohesive environment. In fact, they should be building a culture of cohesion.
Love is in the Eye of the Beholder
It’s impossible to predict with certainty when two people meet that they will eventually commit to a relationship. Quite commonly, employees need time to know whether an organization and what it offers is right for them. In these instances, love is truly in the eye of the beholder.
When management gets it right, employees will love being part of a Cohesion Culture™. This culture is the setting for the love story because it speaks to what employees desire: to be wanted and needed, to find and experience value, and to work committedly toward being successful and accomplished.
There’s something in it for management, too. They will enjoy the lasting, and long-term effects of a cohesive relationship when its workforce wants to be part of its culture. The start of every romance, and this certainly holds true for a culture of cohesion, begins when two people share the feeling like they were made for each other. This work-relationship phenomenon is known as a “sense of belonging.” Every Cohesion Culture ™ begins with people being connected. From there the employee begins to understand their value and that leads to commitment. When management is only focused on employee commitment, seemingly mislabeled as engagement, the relationship becomes one-sided. Love is lost because the individual feels disconnected and unappreciated … they lack the feeling of being valued.
Through years of research and careful study, theorists have concluded that cohesion is a measurable, attainable phenomenon. Simply put, cohesion has a causal relationship to performance. Meaning that cohesion has more than a correlation to productivity, cohesion causes performance.
How does the story end?
For management and employees who attain that sense of belonging, they are ready to walk down the aisle. When the path further leads all parties to an agreement of value, these individuals work together by committing time, energy and resources to both personal and organizational successful outcomes. It’s a match made in heaven that ends with the happiest ending of all.
A culture of cohesion is a powerful ending to this love story. Not “The Very End,” it’s the beginning of something great.