I recently read a book called The Dream Manager by Matthew Kelly.
The book is based on a fictional tale of the leadership of a janitorial services company reviving the organization. The secret to their success was engaging their employees by investing in the employee’s personal dreams.
The Dream Manager concept suggests that employees should be encouraged to identify their dreams, which might fall in any of 12 categories: physical, emotional, material, intellectual, spiritual, psychological, professional, finanical, creative, adventure, character and legacy. A Dream Manger will coach an employee through the attainment of his/her dreams.
One organization that I am affiliated with has adopted the Dream Manager concept. They have formed small groups where employees can identify and share their dreams and support each other in bringing them to life. One group member has not only achieved his dream of jumping from an airplane, which his leader did with him; but he has also published two books. He credits the support and inspiration of his employer for his achievements and he is truly engaged.
The three components of employee engagement are 1)stay – employees wouldn’t think of leaving the organization 2)say – employees will communicate positive things about your company and 3) strive – employees will go the extra mile for the organization. Whether you go to the extent of becoming a Dream Manager or choose other ways of investing in your employees, one thing is clear; making a personal investment in your employees ensures they will make a personal investment in your organization.