Bob Schultek
Author of
The Gauntlet

We celebrated Labor Day this week, a day dedicated to the contributions that working people make to our country’s progress and supporting us all. It’s a remembrance that we appreciate more this year because the Covid disruption has created a stark contrast. We honor those who have defied the risk and worked, often tirelessly, to keep products flowing and shelves stocked, to care for us, to teach us and to protect us; likewise, we remember and respect those whose jobs have been sacrificed, hopefully on a temporary basis, to slow the spread of the disease, those who are fighting the emotional and financial battle that daily uncertainty has forced upon them. 

Our work is vital to our lives. Through our work, we earn dignity, respect and confidence, as well as compensation. We learn and discover what matters to us, realizing how we make a difference for others and ourselves. And the output from our efforts is the energy that motivates action and drives production, transforming the ideas and ambitions of an organization into the goods and services we all need. That organization will survive only as long as it enables its employees to continue generating the energy which sustains this transformation, a transformation we call value creation

Providing growth opportunities is how organizations increase the amount of energy a person has available to contribute. When people learn and grow, they expand their capacity to generate energy. Learning is the outcome of doing, of mastering a new skill, or of making something better. It improves a person’s effectiveness, increasing their ability to achieve desired results more efficiently. It enables people to realize how they can make a difference, which strengthens their will to contribute their unique gifts, experience, insight and energy. The organization succeeds when it acknowledges and encourages these contributions.

How does your organization inspire your people to contribute energy?