This year I celebrate 3 important anniversaries: 31 years of marriage to my better half Tim, 5 years working at Purple Ink, and 10 years since Purple Ink started. I’ve been fortunate to have long-term friendships as well as find deep connections with newer friends. I’ve also seen break ups, divorces, and the severing of ties.
So how do we create more anniversaries with those who are important to us – family, friends, employees, coworkers, and clients?
It all boils down to great relationships. How do we start, build, and sustain strong relationships that thrive and are truly JoyPowered®? It’s been studied, and it’s not that hard, but you do need to be intentional to keep the fires burning.
Earlier, I could have said that I survived 31 years of marriage, but it wouldn’t be true. Do we want to just survive in any relationship? Life is too short. Whether it’s a work relationship, a client relationship, or a personal relationship, the goal must be to grow and thrive together. Relationships don’t need to be rainbows and unicorns, but successful relationships have several things in common, and what we can learn from one successful relationship can often be applied to others. Social scientists have been able to provide us with more and more data to consider.
In the workplace, Purple Ink’s partner Emplify has analyzed the data surrounding work relationships and created a platform for measuring employee engagement. Engaged employees work hard, produce great results, and inspire others around them. They also aren’t easily persuaded to jump to another company, so they stay longer. They are truly JoyPowered®. Emplify uses quantitative data from academic experts, executive leaders, HR veterans, and employees from hundreds of organizations to identify 17 drivers of employee engagement. Their online platform allows employers to measure the level of engagement of their workers.
Emplify’s process guides their clients as they measure sentiments around issues in the workplace and then work to solve those problems. Sometimes they are big issues, like a negative culture or substandard benefits, and sometimes they are small, like needing a new microwave in the breakroom. Transparency is critical. To get employees to trust this system, companies must communicate all of the results of the survey to employees and continue to communicate how they are addressing the issues raised.
Let’s compare work relationships to a critical personal relationship: marriage. The statistic is still (shockingly) that 50% of marriages end in divorce. When you look up the 20 most common reasons for divorce, you see words that are similar to some of those drivers of engagement in the workplace. Below are a few examples:
|Workplace Drivers of Engagement||Common Reasons for Divorce|
|Feedback||Lack of Communication|
|Role Clarity||Unrealistic Expectations|
|Psychological Safety||Jealousy and Insecurity|
|Authenticity||Lack of Sincerity|
|Shared Values||Irreconcilable Differences|
|Competency/Professional Development||Unprepared for Marriage|
All relationships, workplace and personal, share common drivers on engagement. There are many ways that we can take relationships from survive to thrive. Here are a few of my favorites:
Do you want to celebrate more anniversaries with those key people in your life? As we consider the strength of our relationships, ask yourself, “What can I personally do to take this relationship to a deeper level of engagement, make it thrive, and truly be JoyPowered®?”