People who embrace life with gusto enjoy better health and more happiness and fulfillment says Ken Blanchard in his latest column for Chief Learning Officer magazine,
Blanchard goes on to explain that the same principle applies at work, yet many people who’ve been in a job for a while see the days ahead as something to endure rather than an exciting opportunity. These workers do their jobs at a basic level, but are sullen and unmotivated in a quiet way that can be hard to remedy. Fortunately, there is a solution according to Blanchard.
Refiring in Four Key Areas
While working on his most recent book, Refire! Don’t Retire, Blanchard and his co-author Morton Shaevitz began to wonder why so many people take the “best is behind us” approach to life. When they looked at people who were loving life and compared them to those who were struggling, they found that when people think differently in four key areas—Intellectually, Emotionally, Physically, and Spiritually, they behave differently—and those behaviors lead to greater engagement and satisfaction in life. Leaders who encourage people to refire in these four areas can help them find meaning and joy in their work, as well. And when people thrive, organizations thrive.
- Refire Intellectually. Continuous learning is vital to organizational health. Companies like Apple and Google have figured this out, offering stimulating environments, free educational seminars, and tuition reimbursement. Blanchard reminds readers that it’s imperative that leaders also continue to refire intellectually themselves.
- Refire Emotionally. Everyone needs emotional nourishment. Blanchard research shows that people who have meaningful connections at work are happier, more loyal, and more productive. The most successful leaders create opportunities for meaningful connection at the office by offering workshops, retreats, and celebrations, and encouraging work friendships. Creating an emotionally connected culture not only gives people a morale boost, it also increases innovation and collaboration.
- Refire Physically. Work requires energy—and energy comes from having a healthy body and a sense of well being. While many organizations give lip service to wellness, those that back up their claims with health-friendly policies enjoy higher levels of employee engagement and productivity. Sufficient vacation leave, reasonable workloads, and wellness education programs need to be implemented, not just talked about. Blanchard recommends getting creative by instituting walking one-on-one meetings, after hours yoga classes, or lunch-and-learn sessions with guest speakers.
- Refire Spiritually. Boredom and dissatisfaction spring from a focus on self, says Blanchard, so give people an opportunity to focus on something outside themselves. As Chief Spiritual Officer of his company, Blanchard shares how he leaves a morning message every day to praise and inspire people. Leaders who provide opportunities for giving and spiritual growth help people understand that it’s not all about them.
By encouraging behaviors that refire people intellectually, emotionally, physically, and spiritually, and by modeling these behaviors themselves, leaders can inspire people with the idea that life is good—and the best is yet to come. To learn more about Blanchard’s thinking, be sure to read Relight That Work Fire in the January edition of Chief Learning Officer. Interested in learning more about Ken’s new book, Refire! Don’t Retire: Make the Rest of Your Life the Best of Your Life. Check out the pre-order page at Amazon.com.