How to Keep Employees Engaged & Sustain Innovation? | By Inger Andress

Kaizen is a Japanese term for improvement which begins with humanizing the workplace, re energizing individual employee and injecting all employees with new vigor.

In an effort to lean practice organizations often unwittingly leave employees feeling like a machine. They lose focus on what drives and motivates people, inspire them from within and give them purpose for work and life.

People who feel valued are more engaged at life and work and are better equipped to impact themselves and people around them positively.

This is confirmed by Gallop survey conducted in 2010, who studied the role of managers in increasing wellbeing of employees in the organization. They found that employees who experience caring managers were:

  • More likely to be top performers
  • Produced higher quality of work
  • Less likely to be sick, change jobs or get injured at job.

In order to be successful in the current dynamics of local demand and future needs, organizations must prove that they are considerate about the employees and the organization at the same time.

Kazan philosophy can be applied to both smaller businesses and the larger ones as well by breaking them down into smaller steps. This could happen both up the hierarchy as well as down, this gives the employees the assurance that they are important.

Mentoring is the right way of building relational connection with the organization. We must understand the energizing influence we have on people at the position of the leader. As a leader we are in a constant state of mentoring and as a good mentor there are certain characteristics that we must comply with:

  • Actively listening without mental distractions
  • Valuing the person irrespective of his/her performance
  • Encouraging personal growth and believing in the potential of the employees
  • Acknowledging the divine light and the dark that dwells in each of us
  • Respecting the humanity of your employees and leading by example.

“If you don’t know how to nurture yourself, you defiantly will lack the compassion for others. Leaders who are mindful tend to be more effective in understanding and relating to others, and in motivating them towards shared goals. Hence they become more effective in leadership roles.” – William W. George – Faculty – Harvard Business School.

These are some common attributes that will awake us to reevaluate our ways if we are heading towards a dangerous deep end of power.

  • Do we have an acute self interest or an inflated sense of self worth
  • Do we use deception or coercion to control outcomes
  • Do we react regularly
  • Do we intrude over personal boundaries at office
  • Do we change goals frequently according to our needs
  • Do we listen begrudgingly to other’s ideas

The best companies to work with are those who invest in great management and leadership, they train and develop people so that they can grow and they define their business in a way that brings meaning and purpose to the organization.

Culture is the glue that binds people together and to the business. They key to creating an engaged and motivated workforce, filled with employees who not only find personal fulfillment on the job, but also work towards the betterment of the whole.

Most of the businesses like to use catchy lines as their mission statement where they explain how they are an employee friendly organization. But in most cases this is just a statement that stays on the paper and in reality nothing is so. They really need to ask themselves that do they given preferred treatments to all employees or only few selected, are they over reacting and firing people with no logical reasons, etc.

The key elements that make a culture of community are:

  • Valuing teamwork
  • Valuing the development of people and challenging them to grow as a person
  • Valuing the whole person and not just what you can get out of them
  • Valuing respect and the dignity of others.

They should know that when they leave their seat to get the task accomplished, their seat would not be taken.

A true Kiazen will bring life back into the organizational work culture of the world and help heal the global soul of humanity.


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