“Worldwide, only 13 % of employees are committed to their work” is the result of a recent Gallup study. This can directly be translated into billions of Dollars.

87 % of unmotivated employees will not actively make an effort to reach organizational goals. So just imagine what an opportunity this insight offers!  By raising employee engagement you can achieve substantial growth.

One of my preferred authors, Malcolm Gladwell, writes that for creating commitment work should be meaningful. Three distinct qualities make work important: complexity, autonomy and a clear correlation between effort and reward.

Involve – Challenge – Reward

One of the most important tasks of business leaders is to create meaningful jobs for their employees. We suggest the “involve-challenge-reward-“model:

Involve. In some of our trainings we play a simulation game. Two leaders and their team are asked to solve a task. Most of the leaders strive to solve the task in their “office” and to deliver a solution to the team. In this case, the result is always the same: a lot of time was spent, no or only a bad solution was found and the team was demotivated. Only a few leaders ask their team to contribute to solving the task. Then the result is quite different: the team members are enthusiastic, the task is solved very fast and the solution is always right. The common success gives the team members a lot of energy and motivation, too.

Challenge. We have to admit that most of the jobs are repetitive and can easily become boring for the employees, if they are not challenged by their leaders. And what challenge can be applied to (almost) every job in the world? You may have guessed it: continuous improvement. Challenging employees to find solutions and sustaining them to implement these solutions means a lot. If they have a reason to make an effort and the authority to implement changes, they will be more active and productive than you ever thought.

Reward. If the first two of our suggestions are already implemented, the rewarding becomes a piece of cake. But remember, you should never forget to reward your team. The good results that will emerge from applying the first two stages of the model will open up resources to reward the employees. But you will see that the more people will become educated through the continuous improvement learning process, the less they will look for material rewards. Rather, they will appreciate the recognition, encouragements and praise.

This is a challenge for leaders in all companies. We call it “participative leadership” but you may call it a success after you find the answer to this question: How much can your company win from this billion dollar opportunity?