Posted by: healingtheworkplace | July 20, 2015

The Key to Employee Engagement is FLOW!

The Key to Employee Engagement is FLOW!

 What is FLOW and why should we be concerned about it? A recent Blessing White survey revealed that 75% of employees are disengaged. According to Google,

“Employee engagement is a measure used by organizations around world to determine whether or not employees are committed to their organization’s goals and values, are motivated to contribute and are able to enhance their own sense of well-being.”

So, why are so many of us disengaged and what does FLOW have to do with any of this?

FLOW was first identified as an important aspect of one’s quality of life by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in what has become a classic and a widely read book on the subject, FLOW: The Psychology of Optimal Experience.

But FLOW is actually more likely to happen to us while we are working.

The University of Kent’s career services website describes FLOW as “the state reached when we are so immersed in an activity that we cease to notice the passage of time and have deep, effortless involvement.”

It appears that entering the FLOW state and being engaged in our work are very similar. Both involve:

  •  Having clear goals that are achievable but that stretch us to learn new things
  • Having the resources, skills and tools to be able to achieve our goals
  • Receiving feedback on a regular basis so that we know how we are doing
  • Having a sense of control over what we are doing

We also know that FLOW and employee engagement are less likely to happen in organizations that are characterized by GREED, CUTTING CORNERS (as in reduced quality and safety standards) and IGNORING BOTH EMPLOYEE & CUSTOMER’s NEEDS.

FLOW is an important component of one’s quality of work life. People want to find meaning and value in their work and they want to make a difference.

How do we go about improving FLOW?

  1.  Create a work environment that brings out the best in people, one that enables people to continue learning, growing and developing.
  2.  Start using Strengths Based Interviewing instead of the more familiar competency based approached.

What is strength based interviewing?

Strength based interviews take the emphasis away from what the candidate can do and focuses instead on what they enjoy doing. It looks at interests rather than behaviors in an effort to make a better candidate/role match. The psychology behind it is straightforward – if you are working in a way that you really enjoy, focusing on tasks that interest you then you will remain more motivated, be more productive and generally be happier at work. That’s a win-win for the employer and the employee.

When a candidate is using their strengths they are more likely to enter a flow state and exhibit the following:

  •  a real sense of energy and engagement
  • rapidly learn new information and approaches, and
  • demonstrate high levels of performance




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