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Work Hard at Play and Play Hard at Work

Work Hard at Play and Play Hard at Work

Mike Lipkin brings out the best in leaders and employees around the world. The founder and president of Environics/Lipkin, and the author of numerous bestselling motivational books, he combines Environics’ trademark “social values research” with his personal expertise to provide people with the confidence and insight to take powerful action and achieve pre-eminence in their lives. Mike took the time to talk about the  four simple things that can be done to boost your team’s morale and productivity this summer, above:

It’s summer time but the living definitely isn’t easy. In fact, almost every leader with whom I’m working right now is reporting some signs of fatigue and even burnout. And even if you aren’t a leader, your job may be wearing you out. One thing is for sure: vacations are arriving just in time.

According to the leading research company, Gallup, approximately 100 million in America hold full time jobs. 20% of them are actively disengaged. That means they’re miserable. They roam the halls spreading discontent. They’re the employees from hell. 50% of employees are just kind of, sort of, quasi present but they’re not engaged or inspired by their work. Only 30% of people are engaged at work. That means they willingly go the extra mile because of their strong emotional connection to their organization. And only 22% are engaged and thriving on their overall lives. What kind of employee are you? Simply by being engaged, you will outperform 70% of the population. Makes you think doesn’t it?

So, is your work meaningful and rewarding? Is it a place you cannot wait to go to on Monday or is it a place you cannot wait to escape from on Friday? Your answer could literally mean life and death. Gallup has found that the top 25% of teams have nearly 50% fewer accidents, 37% less absenteeism and 41% fewer quality defects than the lowest quartile teams.

According to the New York Times, June 1 2014, people are vastly more satisfied when four of their core needs are met: Physical – they have regular opportunities to renew and recharge at work; Emotional – they feel valued and appreciated for their contributions; Mental – the have the opportunity to focus on their most important tasks; and spiritual – they do what they do best and enjoy most and they feel connected to a higher purpose at work.

So here are four simple things that can be done to boost your team’s morale and productivity:

1. Have a break, have a kitkat or at least a breath of fresh air. Take breaks every 90 minutes at work. The New York times reports that feeling encouraged to take a break by one’s surpervisor increases people’s desire to stay with a company by 100% and doubles their sense of health and wellbeing.

2. Express your care for others, whether they are your reports or your peers. People who believe that their supervisors care for them are likely to be 67 percent more engaged. Every interaction inspires people to give more or do less.

3. Focus on the things that count and discipline yourself against distraction. This is massively difficult. Only 20% of people report that they can focus on one task at a time, but those who can are 50% more engaged. In all my experiences as a professional coach, I see this skill as absolutely crucial. It requires concentration and the ability to shut out the relentless buzz of digital technology. Inner silence is a beautiful sound.

4. Find meaning in helping others find meaning in the work. According to the Harvard Business Review, January 2014, placing “purpose” at the heart of its business model is the number one factor contributing to a great place to work. People who have that sense of purpose are three times as likely to stay with their organizations. My challenge to you is to find meaning in whatever you’re doing and pass it on

In this short message, I tried to take all four steps. It’s been a fun break for me. I’ve shown you how much I care about you. I’ve focused on what counts to me: motivating you. And I hope I’ve inspired you to find meaning in everything you do. Not too shabby for a 5 minute video. Now it’s your turn. This summer, work hard at play and play hard at work. Whatever your job, make it a joy. As you let your sun shine, you light up everyone around you and that’s the greatest fun of all.

By Mike Lipkin/July, 2014