What is the six week secret to creating employee engagement that sticks?
As a business owner or HR professional, you are well aware of the issue of employee engagement and how it can affect the profitability of your organization. You probably struggle with it every day.
From an under-performing sales rep, to a confrontational associate who “always has the right answer,” but can’t be a team player, to the withdrawn individual who feels like they can’t do anything right and their contribution is meaningless, and let’s not forget substance abuse issues… it’s more than a maze, it’s a labyrinth of personalities and issues that can be overwhelming.
In the more severe cases, perhaps you’ve suggested an intervention with a health care professional, psychologist or coach to help the employee overcome their challenge, re-engage, and be a recognized part of the team.
For a short time, maybe this approach worked, but you probably found that the new behaviors didn’t stick. Slowly, the culture of your company returned to the norm as peer pressures and expectations had a greater immediate influence than the help and guidance of those outside resources.
According to a recent article in the Houston Chronicle, the top 5 employee motivation issues are: Low Self Confidence, Low Expectations for Success, Lack of Interest in the Subject Matter, Achievement Anxiety, and Fear of Failure.
As you look at that list, there’s really only one factor that you have some control over: You may be able to adjust their assignment to a role that is more in alignment with their skills and interests, if your company is large enough, diverse enough in scope, and if that department has a need for a new person.
Even with a reassignment, engagement issues still tend to crop up due to deeper issues as addressed in the other four reasons for low employee motivation.
These four areas are all personal, internal issues of the individual employee. Low self-confidence, low sense of an ability to achieve, feelings of anxiousness, and fear all stem from deep beliefs about who the individual thinks they are and what they can accomplish.
Here is where intervention with outside professionals can be helpful. Typically for changes to stick, this means ongoing intervention.
Sending a sales rep to a seminar to boost their confidence and give them a few new tools to try will only change their actions for a couple of weeks. As they repeat old patterns, fall back into their role in the culture of the department/company, they’ll return to being the same under-performer that they have traditionally shown themselves to be. It’s who they believe they are.
Psychological intervention with the disruptor or the wallflower will probably yield results over time. But how long can you wait for them to change their outlook?
The processing of new behaviors and beliefs through traditional talk therapy can take years as the new ideas are processed initially in the frontal cortex, slowly become habitual through repetition and finally become reflexive as the individual sees and understands that they can be different.
What if you could shorten this time of change from years to months or weeks? Legitimately, honestly, with integrity and respect to your employees, help them to be better performers not just at your business, but in life.
Think of the cost savings you could realize in increased efficiency, improved team dynamics, and increased sales.
I hear you asking, “That sounds great. How do I make it happen?”
Before I answer that question, you have to promise me one thing: That after you read the shocking answer below, you must finish reading the rest of this article. (I’ll keep it short, I promise – you’re busy, you have a business to run. I get it.)
Here’s how you can improve your employee engagement, regardless of the employee, as long as they are willing to take part in the process: HYPNOTIZE THEM.
OK – you promised to read further, so before you have a knee-jerk reaction to that statement and close your browser window, let me explain.
NO – I am not suggesting that you hypnotize your employees to become mindless drones who are focused only on their activities at your company. That’s unethical, dishonest, and unfortunately what most people think I mean when I mention hypnosis thanks to entertainment bullshit about what hypnosis is. (More on that in a moment.)
What do I mean? What am I suggesting?
I’m talking about hypno-THERAPY. A powerful modality to help your employees to discover their own holistic fulfillment.
Your employee is a whole person. They are not just the role they play at your company. They have lives, and in those lives they have beliefs about who they are, how they should act, and what they are allowed to achieve.
Many of these beliefs, typically the limiting beliefs that create employee engagement issues, are the result of things they learned about themselves as children. Misunderstandings that took place in a moment of shock or messages of unworthiness that were heard repeatedly for years.
It’s not their fault that they don’t know how to be better employees, because they don’t know who they really are.
Hypnotherapy uses the tool of hypnosis to reach these faulty beliefs and programs that are held in the subconscious. Through direct dialogue with the individual’s subconscious mind, these beliefs can be re-examined from an adult perspective, where typically they are seen to be mistakes and misunderstandings and can be released or reframed into positive, supportive beliefs in a relatively short period of time.
How short? How about 6 sessions? That’s as little as six weeks.
A study reported in American Health Magazine illustrated the comparative effectiveness and efficiency of hypnotherapy, traditional psychotherapy (talk therapy), and behavioral therapy.
Participants in traditional talk psychotherapy showed a 38% recovery rate after 99 sessions. If these were weekly meetings, that’s nearly two years of time for approximately two-thirds of participants to not show recovery results.
Behavioral therapy fared much better, with participants reporting 72% recovery after only 22 sessions. That's approximately one quarter the time (roughly 6 months) and twice the recovery rate of psychotherapy. Good stuff.
Those who participated in hypnotherapy showed an even more dramatic recovery rate: 93% after only 6 sessions!
So why is hypnosis not more readily accepted as an option for employee, or personal, improvement?
Mainly thanks to the misconceptions about hypnosis that come from stage shows, movies and TV where hypnosis is misrepresented for entertainment purposes. I have written extensively on this topic, just visit my blog for a deeper dive into this issue.
Before you choose to suggest that an employee consider hypnotherapy, here are a few things you should know.
1) The employee MUST want to do this work and be comfortable with the hypnotherapist. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis – the hypnotherapist is not in control of the client. With good rapport between the client and service provider, good results will come.
And, let’s be honest, this statement is true for any outside resource. The employee must want to do the work and make the change, otherwise you are all just wasting time and money.
2) Let your employee know that you understand and respect that they are a whole person. You are not suggesting this process just so that they become better employees, you are doing it so they can be a happier, more fulfilled individual. Improved engagement at work will come from them being happy in life outside of work.
3) Carefully vet your hypnotherapy service providers. As with all specialties, there are a range of skill-sets, talents, and levels of professionalism. Find a few providers who you feel have integrity and will do their best for the client (your employee).
Ultimately, you have to decide how to best improve your employee engagement for long-term success. Turnover will always exist, team dynamics will always have momentary breakdowns, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t reduce the impact of these challenges.
Through employee empowerment, individuals can feel more confident in themselves, find joy in their work, and learn to improve their communication skills within the team.
When the individuals are strong and aligned, the pillars of the business are solid, and the organization thrives.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this article. Please comment below or contact me here.
Now get back to running your company.