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[ Don’t “Pizzazzle” Your Employees By Ed Robinson, President, HPWP Consulting ]

piz·zaz·zle transitive verb \pi-ˈza-zul, pē-\

1: to dazzle employees by throwing a pizza party (or cookout)
attempting to make them believe you value them
2: the act of feeding employees copious amounts pizza and soda with
the intent of making them feel happy and motivated

Pizza GuyMy daughter got a birthday present last year – the Bedazzler. This Bedazzler was pretty amazing; it applied pretty jewels to anything she wanted. She took old t-shirts that she would never consider wearing, bedazzled them with some new and cool phrases her friends were saying, and all of a sudden…. She was tricked into believing it was cool again. Now the problem was, we’d wash it one time and the jewels fell off. Just like that, it was the same old t-shirt that never got worn again.

This Bedazzler started to remind me of some of the tools leaders use to engage their employees. They plan things like pizza parties, annual picnics, matching t-shirts, and other fun things and then get disappointed when it doesn’t create real change in the way their people feel and act. Don’t get me wrong, they’re fun, and they’re a nice way to show appreciation, but they aren’t a replacement for real employee engagement.

Employee engagement is simple: it’s involving employees in EVERY decision that affects them. Like I said, it’s simple… but it’s not easy. It’s easier to pass off the small stuff and the softballs but as a leader, it’s harder to loosen the reigns when it comes
to the most challenging issues in your business.

Traditional leadership tells us that managers and executives should be the one’s making the decisions, not front-line employees, and it can be hard to break tradition. But that same traditional leadership style is killing employee engagement in your business at the time you need it the most. As an industrial organization, you likely have 80% to 90% of your employees on the front-line of your business; however they are probably the least engaged group on your team. If you want to drive significant change, there’s no easier way than shifting the momentum for 90% of your workforce. It’s a no-brainer when you think of it like that.

You can’t fake your way to employee engagement. My daughter saw through the fake jewels and the old t-shirts and she’s no longer dazzled by her Bedazzler. Just like her, your employees will see through the pizza parties and picnics and they will not be “pizzazzled” anymore.

If you’re ready to significantly shift momentum by engaging your employees in ways that add value to your bottom line register today for the High Performance Leadership Workshop™.

About the Author: Ed Robinson is the President of HPWP Consulting. Ed is passionate about operational excellence and believes that culture is the foundation for every successful organization.