Why Employee Engagement and Enablement?

Mindful Leadership versus Engagement and Enablement2Competitive companies nowadays face an enormous pressure and so do their employees. Today’s best leaders have the resilience to cope with the many challenges and uncertainties coming their way and the resolve to sustain long-term success. Where does this resilience come from?

Well, from focus and clarity on one hand while making important decisions, then from creativity while transforming their enterprises, compassion for their employees and customers and lastly of course from courage to go their own way.

Studies conducted by companies evaluating their own executives have proven that the top 10% of performers displayed superior competencies in what is called, emotional intelligence, rather than in purely cognitive thinking. Capabilities like self-confidence and initiative; bouncing back from setbacks and staying cool under stress; empathy and powerful communication, collaboration; and teamwork all make for better business results.

Of course, when people feel motivated they perform better. High levels of employee engagement can for example boost revenue growth by up to 2.5 times!

But employee engagement is only half of the story. It’s not enough feeling great about your job if you cannot get things done. That’s why it is important for employees to be “enabled” too.

And exactly for that reason, the focus lies on you, your capacity to motivate your teams, engage and enable them. You become actors as well as owners of a sustainable future within your organisation or company by embodying change and people focus. Walk the talk and your employees will follow!

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” John Quincy Adams

7 main catalysts that impact people’s work

Mindful Leadership

Today, I would like to introduce you to 7 catalysts that – according to T. Amabile and S. Kramer –  have a major impact on people’s emotions, perceptions and motivations as well as on the particular tasks they are performing. These catalysts are certainly not new to you, but I thought that spelling them out again and listing them here would certainly help you remember what makes people thrill, especially when you are leading a team/teams.

1)   Setting clear goals: people need to know where they are heading and setting up milestones along the way, will make them feel  the progress on the way

2)   Allowing autonomy: Stimulate people’s creativity and intrinsic motivation by providing them the freedom – to a certain extent – of taking decisions themselves.

3)   Providing resources: All successful projects need the right resources; many times, I have seen the attainment of goals fail as access to adequate resources was not given or hindered.

4)   Giving enough time: Studies have indeed shown that no pressure and too much pressure over time are both hampering achievement. You don’t want your employees to be burnt out, but you don’t want them to be bored either; low to moderate time pressure seems to be the optimum here.

5)   Help: In today’s complex and matrixed organizations, people need help from various colleagues as they cannot possible know everything that is needed for the successful completion of a task, project or program.

6)   Learning from problems and success: If your organization has a ‘safe’ climate and culture, people will take risks and be innovative. Set-backs need to be openly analyzed whereas successes – even small ones – celebrated.

7)   Allowing ideas to flow: Mindfully listen to what your employees are saying, engage in dialogue and encourage discussions/debates. Truly creative ideas will come out and people will feel extremely motivated as they are perceiving that they are an active part of the progress on the path to successful accomplishment.

It sounds easier than it is, I agree! Maybe you want to print this out and pin it over your desk so that you can see it everyday… sometimes, the most simple things are those with the strongest impact!


What about being yourself today?


Sometimes in life you have to re-charge your batteries, sit down, mindfully, be on your own and simply BE. Every one of us has different ways of doing so. Don’t be afraid of yourself, look into what really matters and what is important to you.

You are fantastic as you are, no need to change! Remember this wherever you are geographically and personally in your life.

No obligations, no achievements, no targets, simply being with yourself…

That’s exactly what I am going to do for the next days! Jenny

How Leadership Can Have a Real Impact on “Human Capital”

In a world that seems to rotate faster every day and in which the words “globalisation” and “digitalisation” play prominent roles in all areas, one factor becomes more and more important for every leader: the promotion and the continuing education of their motivated and qualified employees. Within a global economy, in which the financial resources are not the only necessary conditions able to ensure a competitive advantage, another form of capital, the “human capital” is more and more valorised. As the 15th Annual Global CEO Survey, carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers found out, “talent shortages and mismatches are impacting profitability now.”[1] Although more and more people are educated and mobile, many tasks can nowadays be fulfilled from anywhere in the world, in part thanks to technology. This might mean talent gaps in certain markets or certain industries where highly skilled employees are simply not available. The human being hence moves centre stage and becomes a major ingredient of a company’s success. As a result, the capacity to motivate and retain talent is in fact more important than ever.

But what can be understood when speaking about “human capital” and why, over the last decade and in some cultures, did the notion sometimes suffer from a negative interpretation?[2]Although many different ways exist to describe “human capital”, a common definition says that it is (…)the stock of competencies, knowledge, social and personality attributes, including creativity, embodied in the ability to perform labour so as to produce economic value[3]. Obviously, through this definition and when reading pertinent literature[4] about the subject, one can easily understand the feeling of uneasiness that befalls us as there is always a slight thought or “after taste” comparing humans with machines and other production factors. Human capital becomes in a way substitutable which adds a certain insecurity to the discussion.

But, as we will all agree, human beings and individuals are more than a mere “factor of production” and one thing is for sure: (…)the loss in productivity and time when a valuable employee leaves, as well as the expense related to retraining (…)”[5] are huge and nowadays this is more and more noticed. As a consequence job-hopping becomes a fear of every employer. Moving forward, organizations are now making efforts to identify talented managers as early as possible, in order to devote time and resources for their ongoing development and motivation.

As a leader, you too can make a real difference as to a certain extent, you are able to create the conditions that allow qualified staff members to feel at ease at their workplace and identify with the corporate culture. By “leading through example” you can foster a climate of trust and transparency, allowing for growth and personal satisfaction. A “happy” employee will be less likely to accept other competitive job offers that he/she will most certainly receive during his/her career. Intrinsic motivation can be far more powerful than extrinsic motivation and the key lies in your hand, as a proactive and empathic leader!

[2] See German speaking literature like for example: http://www.harvardbusinessmanager.de/heft/artikel/a-622148.html

[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_capital

[4] See for example articles from Gary Weber who carried out an extension of the applicability of economic theory in his analysis of relations among individuals outside of the market system.