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It’s estimated $41 billion of revenue are being transferred between companies in the US each year. And you are probably falling victim to the same mistake that’s costing them BIG.

The little mistake that’s costing them big is they are forgetting that despite how vastly different the world’s cultures appear to be (they all melt in the US), if you speak to a Greek tour guide, Honduran school teacher, Chinese fishermen and Indian contact center agent, you will find that we are all incredibly alike in some very fundamental ways.

What about you?

Do you want to feel valued, be free of conflict, have pride in ownership, be able to speak your mind, be motivated to work and live, be given the opportunity to grow, and be seen and treated as unique? So does everyone else.

The way you verbalize your needs is where things divert, but we all have the same basic needs. Knowing this, makes it possible for you to engage with everyone in the world. You just need to resist the temptation to find differences. You do that by focusing on the 7 Universal Keys to Human Engagement.

Failing to focus is costing you BIG

When you focus on the 7 keys you will experience the opportunity to get to know someone much more deeply than  superficial. And each person can give you something to aspire to, to emulate, or that you can learn from. Failing to focus on the 7 keys can cost you BIG.

Focusing on the 7 Universal Keys to Human Engagement will help you to capture other points of view, especially those that are vastly different to yours. And this deeper level of understanding will help you  increase your knowledge and wisdom immensely.

The 7 Universal Keys to Human Engagement are:

  1. Feeling Valued: People want to be appreciated and appropriately recognized. They want to be made to feel special.
  2. Conflict Management: Despite what human history has revealed, people want to be conflict free. Rational people would rather have peaceful dialogue over war when given a choice.
  3. Ownership: People want to have ownership of something or own their relationships, thoughts, and destiny.
  4. Openness: People need openness as it is required for the well-being aspects of trust. People need trust to eliminate fear and move forward.
  5. Motivation: Abilities are recognized and utilized and people have positive feelings about interacting with one another and have intrinsic drive to support one another.
  6. Feedback: People engage in and recognize the importance of regular and constructive feedback to improve their life.
  7. Difference Management: People create collaborative relationships with one another and ensure that differences are not allowed to get in the way but are respected.

What you will also find is that these same 7 keys are found in the workplace. Vastly different as the different roles in organizations may seem to be, if you speak to a factory worker, computer technician, accountant, engineer, janitor, and contact center agent, you will find that they are all incredibly alike in some very fundamental ways.

Same thing at work

Everyone just wants to feel valued at work, be free of conflict, have pride in ownership, be able to speak their mind, be motivated to work, be given the opportunity to grow, and be seen and treated as unique. And they want to work for an organization that possesses these as core values.

The way employees verbalize their needs is where they divert, but they all have the same basic needs and the typical employee engagement survey fails miserably to capture insight into these needs. It is possible for you to engage employees if you just resist the temptation to follow the typical employee satisfaction survey practices. Instead measure using the 7 Universal Keys to Human Engagement, or it can cost you BIG.

The 7 Universal Keys to Human Engagement at work are:

  1. Feeling Valued: Employees feel appreciated and are appropriately recognized. Fellow employees believe in them and they are made to feel special and hence they act special.
  2. Conflict Management: Employees are conflict free and they engage in proactive feedback and hence dysfunctional conflict is minimized and time is not wasted.
  3. Ownership: Employees take ownership for getting their needs met rather than whine behind backs. They see leadership as a partnership and take joint responsibility with the leader for being led.
  4. Openness: Employees are receptive to new ideas and engage in genuine two-way communication and can freely talk about a wide range of topics including those delicate and difficult.
  5. Motivation: Abilities are recognized and utilized and they have positive feelings about the job and their colleagues and have an intrinsic drive to achieve and support each other.
  6. Feedback: Employees engage in and recognize the importance of regular constructive feedback in improving performance.
  7. Difference Management: They create collaborative relationships with colleagues and ensure that differences are not allowed to get in the way but are seen as a source of strength.

As a young manager, I failed to see that work was more than just a cluster of tasks to be completed, policies and rules to follow, and performance metrics that needed to be met. My ignorance to the needs of my fellow co-workers ultimately prevented me from obtaining some of those performance metrics that needed to be met but at the time I didn’t understand why. This little mistake, at times, cost me BIG.

Ultimately, I learned that as leaders if we rule out people’s emotional needs at work, including our own, because we are not skilled enough, the entire organization loses it’s ability to be human, and so do I.

My irony

Ironically, my career was in customer care. And you can find these same 7 keys are needed to serve customers. As vastly different as customers may seem to be, if you speak to a new customer, a frequent customer, a seasonal customer, or a lost customer, you will find that they are all incredibly alike in some very fundamental ways.

All customers want to feel valued, do business that’s free of conflict, have pride or confidence in owning your products or using your services, be able to speak their mind, be motivated to have positive feelings about doing business with you, and be seen and treated as unique.

The way customers verbalize their needs is where things divert, but all customers have the same basic needs. It is possible for you to engage with all customers in the world if you just resist the temptation to chase the numbers and hide behind policies and instead focus on these 7 universal keys to human engagement. If you don’t, it will cost you BIG.

The 7 Universal Keys to Human Engagement with Customers are:

  1. Feeling Valued: Customers feel appreciated and are appropriately recognized. Your company believes in them and they are made to feel special and they buy more and recommend friends.
  2. Conflict Management: Customers that experience conflict are able to engage with you in proactive feedback and hence dysfunctional conflict is minimized and time is not wasted.
  3. Ownership: Employees take ownership for getting the needs of customers met rather than whine about them. They see serving customers as a partnership with co-workers and take joint responsibility with them to serve.
  4. Openness: Employees are receptive to new ideas from customers and engage in genuine two-way communication and can freely talk about a wide range of topics including those delicate and difficult.
  5. Motivation: Customers are appreciated and employees have positive feelings about customers and have an intrinsic drive to achieve and support customers.
  6. Feedback: Customers provide feedback and employees recognize the importance of regular and constructive feedback to improve serving customers.
  7. Difference Management: Employees create collaborative relationships with customers and ensure that differences are not allowed to get in the way but are seen as a source of strength.

better-place-to-work-buttonIf your employees can’t answer how something they do helps the customer or the company, you’ve insulated your people from connecting with customers. And that will cost you BIG.

“It’s our policy,” is not the way to connect with customer needs. Saying the policy again, louder, shuts down human connection and most often infuriates.

Know the symptoms

Employee’s inability to answer customer inquiries is a symptom of the company not connecting with employees. Companies must support employee’s efforts to engage with one another so they know how to engage with customers.

The 7 Universal Keys to Human Engagement does that. From improving employee engagement, increasing the customer experience and developing leaders, it works!

Identify the root

If you were to stack all of the success case studies from all of these disciplines on employee engagement, customer experience, organizational development and leadership development you will find several, if not all, of the 7 keys to Human Engagement present.

While the way people explain how success was created may differ, you will be able to interpret their words and behaviors and link them to these 7 universal truths.

Discarding and avoiding outdated practices

Our desire to engage and thrive is innate, but engaging doesn’t happen automatically at work. People do want growth and integration, but wanting it doesn’t mean they can do it. Human engagement in the workplace requires frameworks, systems and focus for it to be obtained.

You can decide to either facilitate, foster, or nurture your people’s engagement, or you can disrupt, divert, and squash it. It all hinges on your beliefs. At the end of the day, your beliefs will either promote or erode people’s opportunity to experience engagement in the workplace that can be experienced by customers and be used to change the world.

The real story of employee engagement is that little has changed in last few decades while customer engagement is continuing to decline. It’s time to do something different. While doing something different and focusing on the 7 Universal Keys to Human Engagement might not cost you $41 billion dollars every year, it is a little mistake that WILL COST YOU BIG.

7-universal-keys-to-engage-employeesCheck out my video about measuring and managing with the 7 keys to dramatically improve your career, work-life, relationships, and future.

The research on the 7 keys is in it’s third decade of study and has been systematized for the past ten years. The companies that have adopted the 7 keys into their workplace have reduced and eliminated several negative performance symptoms and increased several desired outcomes.

Get additional Resources: Go to our Resource Center for access to several ebooks, whitepapers and tools. And get your copy of the 54 Emotional Intelligence competencies to learn more about the intelligence that is more important to your success than IQ.

About Jim Rembach

Jim Rembach is a trusted advisor, speaker, and thought leader. He is a certified Emotional Intelligence (EQ) practitioner, contact center auditor and employee retention specialist, and holds a US trademark for the “Servant Teamwork®” leadership and organizational transformation methodology. Jim hosts the long running Fast Leader Show and sits on numerous boards.

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