There’s a reason that the popularity of Starbucks, Red Bull, and a host of other energy drinks and potions is booming. Everyone wants more energy. After all, the 21st Century is the Energy Century. The world has “discovered” two key facts:
- You can’t get more time; there’s only 24 hours in a day;
- You can get much more energy.
At the same time, the Gallup Organization reports that less than a third of U.S. employees are “engaged” in their jobs. In other words, just because your employees are at work that doesn’t mean they are working.
Unfortunately, serving 5-Hour Energy drinks in the cafeteria won’t solve the problem. What will solve the problem is changing the way you think about the workplace from a time-based model to an energy-based model. Indeed, energy is one of the most ignored — and most important — factors in individual and corporate success.
Specifically, high performance employee engagement demands four separate kinds of energy: physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual. Think “PIES.” If you suspect your organization might need an energy boost, here’s a fast, four-step diagnostic tool to find out:
Step One: Physical Energy. This is the least important type of energy and the one managers watch too closely. Do your employees show up? Are they at their desks during working hours? As the folks at Gallup will tell you, that doesn’t ensure a return on your payroll investment.
Step Two: Intellectual Energy. In a sense, this is what your organization is paying for. Are employees’ intellectual contributions up to par? Do they willingly take on additional challenges? Will they tackle messy, complicated problems that demand creativity and resourcefulness? Are they “ahead of the curve” or just fire-fighting? Do they start thinking at the beginning of a meeting and stop when it’s over? Or do they keep the supply of good ideas coming between meetings, too?
Step Three: Emotional Energy. This critical energy is often the undervalued elephant in the room. Is your culture charged with good energy? Or do you have lots of energy “vampires” sucking the oxygen out of your firm? Do employees dread going to work? Do they approach difficult issues with zest, a mental “YES!” — or is every meeting full of ANTs (automatic negative thoughts)? After inevitable conflicts are resolved, is there “blood on the rug” and the seeds of an ongoing internal feud? Or do people come to work the next day as an energized, united team?
Step Four: Spiritual Energy. No spiritual energy, no real long-term energy. Does your organization have a clear vision, mission and values? Are your employees aligned with them — from the top to the bottom? Do they have a passion for your company’s products and services? Do they have the courage to adapt to setbacks, to admit failure, and to bounce back with resiliency?
Your employees have do much more than “put in their time.” They have to contribute the energy to “supercharge” the organization. And that’s critically important — no matter how much time they spend in the office.
Greg Conderacci is a personal energy expert. He teaches marketing at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and consults on change management and corporate identity. An ultra-distance bicycle rider, he pedaled across America in 18 days, averaging 150 miles a day, at the age of 66. His book, Getting UP! Supercharging Your Energy is available from Amazon in print, e-book and audio-book versions. Find more of his energy-boosting secrets here.