Creating a Fully Engaged Workforce with Harry Paul
Harry Paul is co-author of the internationally bestselling book FISH! A Proven Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results. He helps organizations learn how to create an “Army of Advocates” who will want to work hard by encouraging their employees to be excited to come to work. Paul’s philosophy is that there is a direct connection between happy and engaged employees and a company’s financial performance.
SPEAKING.COM: Your books on the “FISH! Philosophy” have been around for around fifteen years–your first book on the subject, FISH! A Proven Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results, was originally published in 2000. How have the “FISH! Philosophy” concepts remained relevant today?
PAUL: These concepts are still relevant because they’re easy to understand and implement. The FISH! Philosophy is all about choice. We can choose to enjoy what we are doing or not. It’s about bringing passion, energy and enthusiasm into every part of your life, both professionally and personally.
SPEAKING.COM: You talk about creating a “fully engaged workforce where people turn on the discretionary effort.” Would you please describe what you mean by the term “discretionary effort?”
PAUL: Think of it as having spare change in your pocket. You decide when and where to spend it. Discretionary effort is the same. We decide when and where to use it based on how we feel we are being treated, recognized and appreciated at work.
SPEAKING.COM: One of the techniques you share in your books and talks is, “focus on people as well as performance numbers.” Can you share some examples of how this is done well?
PAUL: You must focus on both. When management focuses on only performance numbers, the message is clear that numbers are more important than people are.
If management spends time focusing on people and helping them succeed, people become more dedicated to helping achieve the numbers.
SPEAKING.COM: What are some examples of how upper management can be team players?
PAUL: It’s all about trust. Too often, the only time people hear from management is when they “screw up.” Upper management can be team players by being involved with their people, getting to know them, expressing how important they are to the company’s success, and by acknowledging when people do things right.
SPEAKING.COM: What are some of the more unique and impactful ways companies have shown people they care?
PAUL: The best way is through recognition and appreciation. Unique isn’t as necessary, but consistency is.
When people work hard, make sure to recognize and appreciate their efforts. You’ll create an Army of Advocates who can’t wait to ask, “Is there anything else I can do for you?”
SPEAKING.COM: What are the 4 B’s of managing with trust?
• Be real with people.
• Be appreciative of people when they go the extra mile.
• Be genuinely interested in people.
• Be nice to people, and make it easy for them to be nice to you.
SPEAKING.COM: How did you come up with the idea/parable for your latest book, Who Kidnapped Excellence?
PAUL: Many companies are ignoring all the signs that they are letting average performance replace excellence. Even worse, companies start accepting average performance as their new standard of excellence.
SPEAKING.COM: What are a few customer service lessons you can share from Pike’s Place Fish Market in Seattle, WA?
PAUL: They don’t trade on product or price. They set themselves apart from the competition by creating unique customer experiences that are tough for competitors to copy.
SPEAKING.COM: You have said, “The level of employee engagement is extremely important because it’s the primary driver of a company’s financial performance.” Can you please share some examples of “employee engagement?”
PAUL: Here are four examples:
• Focus on both performance numbers and your people.
• Manage with trust, not fear.
• Increase energy by making work fun.
• Get management involved.
SPEAKING.COM: What are some common mistakes organizations should avoid in attempting to make the workplace fun?
PAUL: Not making fun part of the work process is a big mistake. Part of that is honoring everyone’s idea of fun.
To bring Harry Paul to your organization to learn how to create a fully engaged workplace and tap into the discretionary effort of your employees, please contact Sarah Capri at: Sarah@Speaking.com.
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