Solve Your Engagement Crisis with Work that Resonates

Solve Your Engagement Crisis with Work that Resonates

We have a workplace problem. People are less engaged at work this year than last. In fact, according to Gallup, employee engagement has dropped for the second year in a row. While that might not be a surprise, considering all that has happened in the last two years, it’s a concern for many businesses that are experiencing crippling levels of turnover.

I have a thought on how to fix the problem, and it starts with a wine glass.

The Phenomenon

Before we go any farther, I need to tell you the wine glass is empty. (Sorry – this is a work blog.)

We’re going to break the wine glass, but we’re not going to be hammering out any aggression or dramatically casting it into a fireplace. We can only use our voice. The right note at the right volume, and… crack. How did we do it? Resonance.

Resonance is an amazing phenomenon. It can be observed in everything from gigantic structures to tiny molecules, and I believe it’s the key to reversing the employee engagement trend of the last few years.

Resonance works this way – everything has a natural frequency. When an outside force applies a matching frequency, the frequencies amplify or get stronger. To break the glass, we had to create soundwaves that matched the natural frequency of the glass. The matching soundwaves resonated and amplified causing enough vibration to break the glass.

(Natural Frequency) + (Matching Frequency) = (Amplified Frequency)

So, how can we create the kind of waves that will break declining workplace engagement? We need to give people work that resonates with them, work that matches their own natural frequencies. That might sound a bit like science fiction, so let me show you the facts.

Human Frequencies

The electrical activity that keeps our heart beating and mind working produces frequencies (or waves). Thanks to modern technology, we can observe these waves, which is exactly what theorist Kathy Kolbe did in the experiment below.

Kathy Kolbe is the world’s leading expert in conation – that is – the innate (or instinctive) behavioral modes of action people have when confronted with a problem or working toward a goal. In other words, what you will actually do when free to do things your way. Kolbe worked with researchers to study people’s brainwaves using an electroencephalogram (EEG). She measured their natural, innate way of working (conative instincts) with her assessment, the Kolbe A™ Index. Once she knew their strengths, she created two tasks for them to complete.

The first task matched their innate way of working. After her subject completed this task, their brainwaves were smooth and well organized, like a harmonious chord (image on the left). But the second task was deliberately designed to contradict their conative instincts, after that activity their brainwaves were more like a dissonant jumble of noise, and highly inefficient (image on the right).

Imagine being one of the volunteers for this research… which of the two tasks would have resonated with you? Can you empathize with the image on the right? Have you ever had to work “against your grain?”

Amplified Results

Employers who want to fix their engagement problem should start by learning the conative strengths of their employees. When a person’s tasks align to their innate way of working, and they’re free to do things their way, they’ll get their best results. Why? Because they’ll have work that resonates.

(Natural Frequency) + (Matching Frequency) = (Amplified Frequency)

(Natural Conative Strengths) + (Matching Tasks & Roles) = (Amplified Results)

Building a talent engagement strategy based on conative strengths gives your business competitive advantage.

Are you ready to learn about conative strengths?

Learn more about humanworks8 uses The Kolbe System™ and connect with us to learn how our team of Kolbe Certified™ Consultants can support your talent engagement strategy.

The Kolbe A™ Index and Kolbe Certified™ Consultants are registered trademarks of Kathy Kolbe, and Kolbe Corp. All rights reserved. Used herein with permission.