You can have a great product, a great service, even a great office space, but if you don't provide a pathway to relevance, you will lose your people. Employees are continuously searching for a way to be relevant. For some, it has been keeping control over their domain. For others, it is about the relationships that they have at work. But ultimately, those who experience the greatest relevance are the ones that feel that they are a part of something bigger than themselves.
To be relevant is to be important to the matter at hand. It is about understanding how your contribution matters for the greater good within the company as well as beyond. One of my friends interviewed the marketing director at Southwest Airlines a few years ago. He was recounting the story of how she said that even a janitor at SW would indicate that they "flew planes" if you asked them what they did. Southwest worked hard to help their people understand how their contribution was what kept planes in the sky and customers happy. They explained the importance of each of their jobs and helped them grasp the "why" of their job.
As a leader within your organization, a big part of your job is to help stimulate the intrinsic motivators in the collective psyche of your team. It is about helping people understand that they do matter, that they are important, that their contribution goes beyond just the task at hand. The challenge comes in when you you are that manager that thinks employees should be motivated because you give them a paycheck. Just because they get paid does not guarantee that they will perform. In fact, virtually every research project on motivation for the past 8 decades has indicated that extrinsic factors, such as money, are not what drive performance. You, as a leader, are responsible for creating drive in your team. You, as a leader, are responsible for inspiring your people to want to perform. You, as a leader, are responsible for helping your people see their relevance and embrace it.
Drive relevance in the minds of your people and you will drive profits to the bottom-line. Forget about relevance with your team and you may as well forget about the margins. You, my friend, do make a difference. Leadership makes a difference! You ARE Relevant!!!
To Your Success,
Jody N Holland
Jody is a writer, motivational speaker, consultant, and entrepreneur. He has been the keynote speaker at over 250 events around the world. Jody speaks more than 150 times per year at different programs, and he has given more than 10,000 speeches during his career.