Holy Cow! An Engaged Workforce!

Posted  | 10 Comment(s)  |  by Russ Knight, Career Partners International - Tulsa

If I had a nickel for every article or video I’ve seen about engagement statistics and the impact of disengagement on the U.S. workforce, I would have a lot of nickels.

Holy Cow! An Engaged Workforce!Let me tell you the story of a truly engaged workforce in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Recently, we were contracted to work on a transition project with this company that was going through restructuring. The employees are still with the company, but they will be transitioning out in the first quarter of 2015. During this project I got to meet about 35 employees of this company.

Nearly everyone I met is what I would describe as “engaged” from my perspective as an outsider. It was striking that nearly all were:

  1. Thankful for the time they’d been with this company
  2. Working hard to serve the company (even though their jobs were soon ending)
  3. Talented and performing well in their roles
  4. Willing to stay during the transition period to serve the company, even if it means what is next for them has to remain on hold
  5. Feeling pessimistic about the potential of finding a comparable future team and employer in their transition

Source: http://pixabay.com/p-316373/?no_redirectCan you imagine if someone described your team that way?

Our last on-site workshop was Thursday, October 30th, the day before Halloween. Many were dressed up in costume for the holiday. One lady was dressed as a cow with a halo (holy cow). I asked her to introduce me to the CEO so I could share my observations about the engagement levels of these employees.

When I met the CEO, he told me about his early career in the oil business; about the way the man he worked for led his company and treated his people. The CEO took to heart the good examples he experienced and wanted to create another company that replicated the same belief: treating employees with gratitude, respect, appreciation, and professionalism creates a culture of employee ownership and pride.

When these employees transition from this company to whatever is the next step in their careers, the CEO hopes they will influence those employers' cultures in a positive way.When these employees transition from this company to whatever is the next step in their careers, the CEO hopes they will influence those employers’ cultures in a positive way. 

What was unique in this company?

  1. Senior management has a vision for the people
  2. Hire for both character and talent; Don’t settle for just one or the other
  3. Communicate clearly; be as transparent as possible
  4. Big goals; everyone knows their role in pursuing something bigger than themselves

Think about a time when you have been really engaged at work.  What is it that helped you feel engaged?

Russ is a creative problem solver and storyteller seeking to match client challenges to the expertise offered by Career Partners International - Tulsa. He also serves on the sales and social media committees. Russ has been an active part of the Tulsa community for 20 years in marketing and sales roles in a variety of industries with a passion for serving the community. Russ’ passion for assisting job seekers brings an exceptional passion to our team. Russ has a bachelor’s degree in management from Oklahoma State University and serves as a volunteer leader with the job search ministries at First Methodist and Asbury.

Career Partners International provides top quality talent management services to organizations of all sizes. Their offices around the world help assessengagedevelop, and transition talent in any industry. To find out more about Career Partners International and how you can maximize your organizational performance, reach out to an office near you or contact us today!

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  1. Vanessa Statum's avatar
    Vanessa Statum
    | Permalink
    It began with a leader who had a vision for people and was willing to invest in his team.
    Great article!
  2. Mike Duke's avatar
    Mike Duke
    | Permalink
    You are a great story teller...but what I appreciate most is your positive approach. It seems like the media of today thinks people won't take time to read something unless it is broken,not working and sensational. You have proven with your article that we will read, learn, and enjoy a good positive story about what is working. Keep up the good work.
  3. Chad Bowers's avatar
    Chad Bowers
    | Permalink
    Great article, Russ. I agree that if you have a great leader that values their employees, their employees are willing to go the extra mile.
  4. Cory Erickson's avatar
    Cory Erickson
    | Permalink
    Thankfulness and strong leadership can go a long way. Thanks for the great article Russ. It sounds like those people had a great facilitator!
  5. Jeff Wilkie's avatar
    Jeff Wilkie
    | Permalink
    Russ…always good to see that hope is alive out there! Engagement is the key for retention and helping companies realize their full potential! Thanks for sharing!
  6. Travis Jones's avatar
    Travis Jones
    | Permalink
    Blog well done. Great job working with those candidates and connecting to the CEO for his thoughts
  7. Rick Christensen's avatar
    Rick Christensen
    | Permalink
    Great article, the leader sets the tone, a great tone creates great employees who create great results.
  8. Greg Hawks's avatar
    Greg Hawks
    | Permalink
    Russ, I love that you are positioned to set these people up for a positive transition. It speaks to the reality that everyone wants to do good work... and when an environment is cultivated for them to excel, they do!

    Though most will roll into another job, how great would it be if a few took this transition opportunity to launch a new business that fostered the same kind of Culture?!

    Kudos to you and CDP for giving honor and hope for those transitioning (& enabling smart companies to treat people well).
  9. Katie Cimpello's avatar
    Katie Cimpello
    | Permalink
    Great leadership creates an engaged workforce, an engaged workforce drives productivity! Thanks for sharing this story!
  10. Chad Balthrop's avatar
    Chad Balthrop
    | Permalink
    Russ -

    Thanks for a great article. Well done.

    I agree with many of the comments so far that an effective leader sets the tone for an engaged employee. It's always easier to engage when the atmosphere is healthy. But there's more to it than an effective leader.

    These people were being "transitioned" yet remained engaged. That says something about them. Too often we put our attitudes and willing effort under the control of someone else, "They don't care about me, why would I care about their company or this job?"

    Engagement is encouraged by good leadership, but is created when individuals choose to use who they are and what they have for the benefit of others. It's about serving - your clients, your employer, your coworkers, your community.

    Good leaders remove the obstacles that distract from this kind of environment. Great employees engage in any environment.

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