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Spark Joy: How to Elevate Yourself and Others

With motivation and productivity lessening in today’s workplace, being able to inspire others is becoming even more important for business leaders.

Are your employees happy in their work? Are they motivated and inspired? Are you?

According to studies by Gallup, employee engagement has lessened over the last few years while active disengagement has risen. The ratio from engaged to disengaged employees is the lowest it has been in a decade.

While there are many reasons for this drop, from a global pandemic to shifting generational values, it is affecting businesses worldwide and may be hurting yours too.

So how can you fix this?

Your Role

First, you need to understand your own impact. What you do, how you say things, and your attitude can all have an effect on those around you. Your emotions and moods cause you to emit energy. If you’re in a bad mood, you emit negative energy. People sense it. When that happens, it makes everyone around you feel worse. Likewise, if you’re happy or joyful and emitting positive energy, everyone feeds off of it and their moods improve.

Your participation or lack thereof also has an impact. Think of it like being in a rowboat with 3 other people. When someone isn’t rowing, that makes it harder for everyone else to move the boat. However, when everyone is rowing, they move easily.

Recently, we had a workshop with a client. Everyone who was present had volunteered to be there. However, one person showed up with a resigned and cynical attitude. He directed insults at his management team and his coworkers and was affecting everyone else’s attitude.

Seeing the problems this was causing for the rest of the group, we asked him, “What kind of impact do you want to be having in your organization?” He seemed surprised by the question and replied that he wanted to have a positive impact and create a better work environment. Most people do.

The problem with this person was that he didn’t understand that he was being a distraction and not contributing the way he wanted to. He wasn’t necessarily trying to be mean, but he was venting his frustrations rather than focusing on trying to fix the issues he had with the organization.

He needed awareness.

Problems need to be addressed through compassion and contribution. When that happens, employees are more likely to take action to fix them.

It all starts with you. If you want to inspire others, you need to be inspired yourself. If you’re miserable, but trying to encourage happiness from others, they just see you as inauthentic.

Wants and Needs

Another key is to connect what people want with what they are doing. This is alignment. This is where people are the most productive and inspired. While we can all have different desires, there are a few simple needs that everyone seeks.

The 4 Basic Human Needs:

  • Certainty - To have clarity or understanding on things (i.e. knowing you have a roof over your head, knowing you can put food on the table, knowing you will get paid at the end of the month, etc.)

  • Uncertainty (Novelty) - To experience new things. To be able to grow and learn

  • Significance - To feel valuable, important, and impactful

  • Connection - Having trust and feeling seen and heard by another. Feeling that someone cares about you

3 Emotional Needs:

  • Safety - Feeling safe and secure. This can often tie in with certainty

  • Love - A need for intimate connections and relationships with others

  • Respected Boundaries - Personal boundaries are communicated and adhered to

If your organization satisfies these needs for your employees, you will have an inspired workforce. Employees start to experience contribution to your cause. Contribution releases chemicals in the brain like dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins, which makes them feel even better. All of this together creates a cycle of fulfillment and joy for everyone involved.

A business should be a place of joy and inspiration. It should be a place where people feel they are contributing to a cause. It’s time to make that happen for your organization.

To your inspiration,

The Keen Alignment Team

P.S. Want to learn more about how engaged employees. who work in pursuit of the mission, vision, and values of your organization, bring immense value to your business? Check out a free book chapter from Wall Street Journal best seller, "Ignite Culture".


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