Find the flow for employee engagement
Help open a floodgate of employee engagement and productivity
“Wow, where did the time go?” If you’ve ever been so immersed in a task that you were totally unaware of time or surroundings, you’ve experienced “flow.” In his book “Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience,” psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi uses “flow” to describe the mental state where a person is fully immersed in an activity, performing at his or her best, and feeling energized throughout the process. To achieve this state, one must find the a balance that incorporates enough challenge and skill while diminishing anxiety and boredom.
As you manage people in your business, you’ll need to look at each person’s job to identify where he or she falls in relation to these four elements. If someone is bored, he or she won’t be in flow – there’s no tension, excitement or anything new to keep interest. But you also don’t want tension to become anxiety or challenges to overcome skill.
To help create an environment in your business that helps employees achieve a state of flow, try these three steps:
Set clear goals
Clear, attainable goals help employees know when and where to focus their attention, which helps concentration and motivation to thrive.
Set short reward cycles
When employees feel in control of tasks but don’t see incremental rewards in accomplishing the tasks, they can struggle in a state of boredom. If tasks are too challenging or rewards don’t equal the challenge, then anxiety can occur. So make sure rewards are provided at least quarterly and that they are on par with the task and the goal, e.g., getting an additional vacation day for attaining a predetermined production level or sales goal.
More variety, fewer interruptions
Repetitive tasks can quickly lead to boredom. That’s where providing a variety of tasks can help. Depending on your type of business, however, creating a variety of tasks within an employee’s job function may require a bit of thought and creativity on your part. Also, give employees time to focus. Fewer required meetings and setting specific times to review email can help reduce interruptions and increase engagement.
To begin, have conversations with each employee to identify how they view their jobs relative to challenge and skill, and anxiety versus boredom. Ask if he or she feels sufficiently challenged, or see if he or she would like to expand his or her expertise with a new skill set. And remember, as their manager, you assume the responsibility to ensure your reports are individually challenged.
You can see Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi give a Ted talk on Flow here: http://www.ted.com/talks/mihaly_csikszentmihalyi_on_flow.
Links are being provided for information purposes only. Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse, authorize or sponsor any of the listed websites or their respective sponsors. Raymond James is not responsible for the content of any website or the collection or use of information regarding any website’s users and/or members.
Material prepared by Raymond James for use by its financial advisors.
We believe a client relationship is an on-going conversation
We believe in concise performance reports and clearly stated fees
We believe accountability and responsiveness are the core of great service
Olde Raleigh Financial Group
3110 Edwards Mill Road, Suite 340,
Raleigh, NC 27612
Mon-Fri 8am to 4:30pm
Check the background of this firm on FINRA's BrokerCheck
Advisory Services offered through Olde Raleigh Financial Group, a Member of Advisory Services Network, LLC. Website: http://advservnet.com Phone: 770.352.0449. Securities offered through Calton & Associates, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. 2701 North Rocky Point Drive, Tampa, FL 33607. Advisory Services Network, LLC and Calton & Associates, Inc. are separate and unrelated entities.
Registered representatives of Calton & Associates, Inc. may only conduct business with residents of the states and/or jurisdictions for which they are properly registered. Therefore a response to a request for information may be delayed. Please note that not all of the investments and services mentioned are available in every states.
Fidelity Investments is an independent company, unaffiliated with Old Raleigh Financial Group. Fidelity Investments is a service provider to Advisory Services Network. There is no form of legal partnership, agency affiliation, or similar relationship between your financial advisor and Fidelity Investments, nor is such a relationship created or implied by the information herein. Fidelity Investments has not been involved with the preparation of the content supplied by Old Raleigh Financial Group and does not guarantee, or assume any responsibility for, its content. Fidelity Investments is a registered trademark of FMR LLC. Fidelity Clearing & Custody Solutions® provides clearing, custody, and other brokerage services through National Financial Services LLC or Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC, Members NYSE, SIPC. 866672.1.0