On a recent road trip, Christy and I stumbled upon a radio station in the middle of an “All Eighties Weekend.” There was no need to seek further entertainment. We sang at the top of our lungs for a good two hours while driving down Interstate 10.
Of course, you cannot have an All Eighties Weekend without singing “Escape,” perhaps better known as the Pina Colada Song. If you are under the age of 45 and want to experience exceptional music from back in the day, click here. If you are over 45, go ahead and bask in the glory of your favorite couple skate memory.
The Pina Colada Song has achieved cult status since it hit #1 the last week of 1979 and then again in January of 1980. The famous chorus, according to singer and songwriter Rupert Holmes, originally said, “If you like Humphrey Bogart…” Just doesn’t have the same ring as pina coladas, does it?
Something else that didn’t ring true in the song was the logic behind the story. (Can you tell Christy and I were bored?) After the song faded into a commercial, we discussed the odds of two people—obviously unhappy in a relationship—writing a personal ad for a fling and then finding their significant other waiting for them in a bar.
“I can tell you this, if I would have walked into a bar called O’Malleys and seen you, I would NOT have smiled and said, ‘Oh, it’s you’,” Christy quipped, quoting the last verse.
“No?” I said innocently. “And just what would you have been doing there anyway?”
“You are the one that responded to the ad,” she argued.
“You are the one that wrote it,” I reminded her.
She changed the subject. (She does that a lot when her argument is headed south.) “Do you think that sort of thing has actually happened to a couple before? Where the answer was right in front of them but they just needed a fresh look?”
“Well, I am sure it has. Any relationship between two people can benefit from reflecting a bit. Particularly on each other’s strengths. I even see it between management and employees.”
I went on to tell Christy that new employees feel special during the hiring or the “wooing” process. Both the employee and the employer attempt to make each other fall in love so the relationship can get started.
But then, after the first ninety days or if there is a probationary period concludes, work tends to settle into the “same old dull routine” that the Pina Colada song describes. You and your great new job becomes “me and my old lady.”
Employers can prevent this from happening with just a little effort. And here’s the thing, the more energy and effort that companies devote to the employee relationship, the more they receive as a return on that investment. Here’s how.
The better relationship a company has with employees, the more likely they are to be engaged. The higher the rate of engagement, the more effective your work forces becomes. It is a cycle that has been proven over and over again.
Listen carefully companies. If you want to make more money, make your employees a priority. Sounds counter-intuitive, but it is a fact. Employees that are willing to go the extra mile for their companies will produce loyal customers, take the time to think through problems, speak highly of the company in the community, innovate better ways to work—the list could go on.
To get employees excited about you as a leader and thus, your company, improve your relationship with your employees in these three ways.
(1) Listen to them. Two key questions that employees want to know are:
“Do my opinions count at my work?”
“My supervisor, or someone at my work seem to care about me as a person?”
If they can answer positively, that means you sought input from them over projects, processes, and decisions that affect them at work. Listening makes the other person feel valued.
(2) Give them a reason to work for you … besides making money. Another finding on employee engagement is that employees want to know:
“The mission or purpose of my company makes me feel my job is important.”
Everyone wants to be successful, but employees that are connected to WHY you are in business produce more. The best way to do this is to always frame what you do in relationship to your customer.
(3) Help them grow and develop. Just because your employees may be satisfied NOT progressing up the ranks to take your job or to become CEO doesn’t mean that they don’t want to be good at what they do. The ambition of many employees is simply to do a good job. To be good at what they do. Can your company answer these two questions affirmatively:
“In the last year, I have had opportunities at work to learn and grow.”
“I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.”
These three behaviors by employers will take the guesswork out of what your employees think about the company. From my experience, they will love it … and you!
I had to end the discussion with Christy because the All Eighties Weekend came out of a commercial and the song was Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. I think you understand that we had to sing.
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