Earlier this year Colleen Coates wrote a great piece about employee satisfaction and employee engagement. "A recent study by the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that even though employees may be satisfied with their jobs," she says, "it does not automatically translate into having an engaged workforce."
Several years ago I worked with a fellow who said something like, "I have a good job. I don't need to really like my job to be good at it. I look at it as a means to an end—a paycheck."
I didn't go into work yesterday. I had a number of personal errands to do that couldn't be done on the weekend. For example, it was time to renew my drivers license.
They've changed the rules since I last renewed my license, and although I should have known the rules changed, I didn't (my wife suggested that I hadn't paid attention to all the announcements that were made a few years ago). I ended up making the visit twice. I didn't have my "papers" in order. Recent changes to the law require a birth certificate, passport, your blood type, the maiden name of your mother's grandmother on her father's side and...You get the picture.
Over the years I've noticed that doing something for somebody else is a great way to recharge the batteries and find new motivation. Yesterday, my colleagues and I spent the day at Globus Relief sorting and preparing medical equipment destined for a relief effort in Central America. I don't know the details of the need but I do know that it felt very rewarding to be a part of something for the day that wasn't strictly profit motivated.
I'm sure when our management looks at the time away from work and the cost associated with nearly 150 people being away from the office, they might wonder why they made it possible for us all to take part. Although there is always more work to do than time to do it, I was happy to spend some time doing something good. And, just as I think it's important to individually devote some time to serving the community, I think it's important for corporations to do the same.
I am an REI customer. I enjoy spending time in the outdoors and enjoy the gear REI sells to make spending time outdoors fun and more comfortable. When I go into the local store, if I have a gear question, I'll more than likely be helped by someone who has used the gear I'm asking about and can give me real-world guidance on whether or not any particular piece of equipment will fit my needs.
That's not the only reason I'm a loyal customer, willing to go out of my way to shop at the local REI.
There's not much more I would rather do these days than cruise the back-roads from the seat of my motorcycle. There's something about experiencing the adventure at a more tactile level than what you feel in the climate-controlled space created by an automobile. And, giving the throttle a little extra twist now and again shooting through the twisties is pretty darn fun.
Saturday, my wife and I spent the better part of the afternoon watching professional motorcycle races shoot around the track at somewhere around 200 miles per hour. The Miller Sports Park, a few miles outside of Salt Lake City, celebrates Memorial Day with some of the best motorcycle racing in the country (if not the world). The skill of these riders is pretty incredible—but the preparation that goes into a race like this is often what makes the difference between winning and maybe even finishing the race.