Episode 185.5 – Green Apple Slice


Focus on Employee Work Passion, Not Employee Engagement




The Green Apple Podcast does weekly “Green Apple Slices”, where John Garrett and Rachel Fisch discuss a recent business article related to the Green Apple Message. These shorter segments are released each Monday, so don’t miss an episode by subscribing on iTunes or an Android app.

This week, John and Rachel discuss a Workforce article, “Focus on Employee Work Passion, Not Employee Engagement” by Drea Zigarmi and Randy Conley.

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    Good morning. It’s John Garrett coming to you with another episode of Green Apple Slices international edition with Rachel Fisch calling in from Bangkok. The Accountant, not the — my apologies, Rachel is in Bangkok, whatever. Here we go.

    Rachel: Nothing else matters.

    John: So how are things?

    Rachel: Things are good. That is a long flight.

    John: Right? And you get to come home. So there’s that.

    Rachel: Yeah, yeah, something to look forward to. Yeah, for sure.

    John: Yeah, it’s the kind where you get to take a shower and put your pajamas on and then have to change clothes you’re on the plane so long.

    Rachel: Not quite, not quite. Fortunately, we have a policy saying that if the flight is above a certain amount of time, you get business class. This is like triple that amount of time. So yeah, like a business class. So yeah.

    John: Nice. Very cool. Cool. So you’re almost an astronaut. You’ve been up there so long?

    Rachel: Pretty much.

    John: That’s pretty impressive. Pretty impressive. So yeah, we always get together every Monday and talk through something. I found this article on workforce.com. It was Focus on Employee Work Passion, Not Employee Engagement.

    Rachel: See, I think that is a little deceiving. I think the title is a bit of clickbait because it’s like, what? I don’t have to worry about employee engagement anymore? Here is my theory on that. I think that — and because there are some really great points in this article — is that if you work on employee work passion, the engagement will kind of take care of itself is what I think they’re trying to say here. If you’re trying to focus on the end result or on the metrics without really doing the work that you need to get there, you’re going to have some problems. So focus on something that’s a little earlier in the process. That’s what I took from it. That’s just a theory.

    John: No, we’re making it beyond it. Oh, no, hypothesis, I guess is for it. So never mind, theory it is. Rachel’s theory. But, yeah, the first couple of articles are a lot of statistics that we’ve read through before about $300 billion annually were lost in the US economy, the Canadian economy. Who knows how many billions? And then it talks about how companies are just throwing money at this problem like crazy,

    Rachel: Because that’s it, right, its by creating programs and buying ping pong tables?

    John: Exactly. And painting the walls with cool color. Then you get down here about halfway and it’s creating employee work passion. I thought that that was pretty interesting because it’s something that I had never really thought about before or a term that I’d never heard.

    Rachel: Right, they probably just made it up. It’s fine.

    John: Right, right, just like our podcasts. But I thought it was interesting how they just talked about how, I guess, work passion being your level discretionary energy that you give above and beyond what you’re supposed to do. It’s you showing or the people showing how engaged they are to their jobs or to each other, to the company.

    Rachel: So they have these like blue boxes that kind of outlines the things that you can look at. So when it’s like, I don’t know, what does my engagement look like? I don’t know. How do I tell how engaged an employee is? you can look at the amount of effort or how much they intend to expand their energy on behalf of the organization; how much they actually want to do well, so the intent to perform; organizational citizenship, so basically being part of the team; employee endorsement, so how they talk about the organization to other people; and the intent to just stay there, that they’re happy where they are and they want to keep going. So I thought these were really great indicators of kind of the level of engagement your employees have within the organization which was really good.

    John: There’s an engineering firm here in Denver that I just talked with. They actually have a policy that if someone goes on vacation, they come back to a clean desk. So everyone else pitches in and does the work that would have been done by that person, so they don’t come back to like a mountain of work and have to dread coming back in from the office. And then when the other person goes on vacation, then they pitch in and do the same because everyone knows that that’s what will be done for them.

    Rachel: I feel like that’s what it’s going to be like in heaven.

    John: Right. But how cool is that culture that that’s a thing?

    Rachel: That’s actually really cool.

    John: Yeah, BCER here in Denver.

    Rachel: Very cool.

    John: It’s a really cool example of something that could happen at anywhere and probably should. I mean, why not? Because then it encourages people to go and take that vacation, and it encourages them to not dread coming back and to be thinking about work while they’re away because they’re like, “Ah, what I got to do?” It’s just like, “I’m going to walk in and have nothing to do.”

    Rachel: I would take more vacation if I knew somebody else is doing my job.

    John: Well, I don’t know if it’s quite that level but —

    Rachel: Oh, fine.

    John: But that’s in heaven. That’s in heaven. But, yeah, if you want to read the full article and see the list like 12 factors of employee work passion, it talks through organizational factors, job factors, relationship factors, things like that. It’s a pretty extensive article that I think is pretty good.

    Rachel: It’s pretty deep. Yeah, for sure.

    John: But, yeah, if you want to read that, go to greenapplepodcast.com. You can click the links there. And don’t forget to hit Subscribe so you don’t miss any of the future episodes that we have every Monday with Rachel and every Wednesday, interviewing someone cool known for a passion or a hobby outside of work. It’s always fun to hear their story. So that being said, enjoy your time in Bangkok.

    Rachel: Thanks.

    John: Yeah, have a good flight home.

    Rachel: Thanks. Kind of dreading it but thanks. See you later, John.

    John: Tal to you later.

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