Belonging: One Secret to Successful Business Engagement
An organization is just a web of relationships. If the relationships work, the organization works. It is imperative that all the players (especially those that might have competing interest) understand that the team wins together or it loses together. And sports teams have taught us it is not the team with the best individual talent that wins but the team that plays best together that wins. And so it is with companies.
Communication, accessibility, realistic objectives and gratitude in both word and action are the foundation for developing the feeling of belonging. Often times the best example is a bad example to get the point across. In his book Everyone Communicates, Few Connect, John Maxwell quotes The Subordinate’s Lament By: Jim Lundy, ‘We the uninformed working for the inaccessible, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful’ (p. 130). Obviously, the anti-venom to this sentiment is developing relationships based on sharing of information, accessibility to key players, establishing realistic objectives and, above all, gratitude.
Why does communication matter?
The foundation of any working relationship is trust. Trust is either earned or lost through communication. Communication done right means you give people the information they need, to do the job they have been assigned to do. It means you do what you say you are going to, when you say you are going to do it. It means you praise in public, you criticize in private. It means you do not embarrass people. It means you do not mislead or misinform people. It means you make every reasonable attempt to keep everyone involved in the process informed. It means you identify issues that need to be addressed and you address them quickly, fairly, and privately. It means you keep confidential information confidential. It means you respect others’ opinions. It means you do not “bully” people into agreeing with you.
I daresay more employees have quit, more clients have been lost, more marriages have been ruined, more friendships been lost, and more partnership have been dissolved because of the failure to create and maintain trust through proper communication.
So communication matters!
Why does accessibility matter?
John Maxwell, in an issue of the daily video A Minute by Maxwell, spoke of a similar concept: availability. He said, “Availability means reliability. It means when people need you, they can locate you, and you are ready, willing, and able to help. You are in the right place, at the right time, for the right reason, for the right people.”
So accessibility matters!
Why do realistic expectation matter?
Unrealistic expectations set your team up for failure. No one wants to be on a team that has been set up to fail. Nothing destroys morale quicker than failure. And nothing builds morale quicker than success.
Realistic expectations set your team up for victories.
So victories matter!
Why does gratitude matter?
John Maxwell says, “The belief that one person can do something great is a myth.” If that is true it only goes to follow that the secret to our success is found in the team that support us. That team needs to understand how truly grateful we are for their contribution to our success.
When people don’t feel appreciated productivity decreases, turnover increases, and morale plummets. Employees/Partner Vendors can’t give what they do not have. Employees/Partner Vendors that do not feel appreciated will not be able to show appreciation to their co-workers, partner vendors and their customers. In this environment, it will be difficult for the organization to thrive.
So gratitude matters!
There is no greater testament to organizational success than when your employees and your partner vendors can proclaim, “We the informed working for the accessible, are doing the possible for the grateful.”