These days, companies of all sizes are looking for new ways to inspire, empower and motivate their employees in a way that is generous and morale-boosting.
The concept of “vision or dream boarding” has been around for quite some time, and I believe it has huge potential in the corporate world and the workplace.
Dream boards are a visual representation of the things and feelings you desire. Giving your employees the opportunity to create their own dream boards and one for the entire team, helps them to explore avenues and inspiration for personal growth, both within the organization and as individuals.
The power of this seemingly simple board never ceases to amaze me. I’ve been using them in my personal, professional and business lives for the past eight years and have introduced hundreds of people to this tool through my signature Dream Board Party Experience. Recently, I began exploring this tool’s impact on the performance and productivity of corporate teams and business groups. While some organizations have jumped on the concept, others are still seeking concrete reasons why this seemingly innocent and fun-filled activity is a must.
This blog post by Sarah Centrella offers two reasons why every company should take note and add this activity to their agenda as soon as possible. It confirms everything I have been studying and testing for the last 10 years.
1. When an employee is successful and motivated in their personal life, it translates into their work.
But how do you achieve this? Employers know that there is more to life than work, but they need their employees to show up every day with a passion for their job, as if it’s the most important part of life. So, how do you effectively foster both attitudes? How do you encourage a fulfilling work-life balance?
Answer: You tie them both together.
Teach employees how to look at their life in the big picture; how to define and focus on their future as opposed to where they are today. This mentality encourages them to dream big, which by default translates to them wanting to do better at work so they can begin achieving these newly defined dreams.
It forces them to set personal goals for the next five years of their life, BIG GOALS which will require self-motivation to be achieved. Those goals almost always include how to advance their career, which means they need to step-up their game at work to make this happen (good for productivity and morale).
2. Sometimes companies need a little help motivating and coaching employees to succeed.
We’ve all worked with people who are self-starters, personally motivated and as a result are “climbing the ladder”. But we’ve also worked with team members who just don’t seem to get it. They need to be coaxed and prodded but do have the other skills needed to be successful.
The question managers struggle with is how do you get them to become self-motivated?
Answer: You show them what is possible for them. Most people who lack self-motivation do so because they lack belief and imagination that it could be possible for them.
This is the reason why dangling large commission structures as the “carrot” for sales teams for example, only works well for some but doesn’t work at all for others. The manager will say: “But they know that if they sell x amount they will make so much money! Why won’t they just sell that amount? Why isn’t that enough?” My return question is: “Have they ever made that amount of money before?” If the answer is no, then how can they truly understand what receiving a huge check would mean? It holds no real meaning to them, it has no relevance in their life, because it seems unattainable. I know this seems crazy but I coach people every day who don’t know how to imagine a life other than the one they are living, even if the opportunity is there.
But what happens when that same sales rep gets their first big check? Now they are motivated, right? Because now that money holds a frame of reference in their life; it has meaning. Now they understand that a big commission check means: a vacation for their family, or a new car, maybe down payment for a home or something else that changed their quality of life. Now they are motivated to repeat the successful behavior to keep getting that check.
So how do you motivate the individuals who’ve never made that big check? How do you get them excited? You show them what is possible. You help them identify their personal goals and dreams, where they want to go in their life. What experiences they want to live out. You help them define what money and success will mean in their life, and in relation to their goals and personal happiness. Once you do that, you don’t have to push them anymore – they want it. They will do what it takes to make it happen. They can begin to envision a totally new life for themselves that begins to feel real even before it is, and that lights a fire that no sales manager can accomplish through sales goals and quotas – or any other workplace goal for that matter.
While there are many more reasons and benefits I can share, these two are abundantly clear. If you are a chief executive officer, human resources manager, or team leader of any kind, and want to host a dream board party for your company, I would love to work with you. And it goes far beyond clipping pictures and sticking them to a board. It covers an entire Make it Real System for turning those boards into reality.
Not only does this activity help spark their imagination, but it proves that employers are committed to supporting their success and longevity at a company. This will come back in the form of loyalty and increased productivity. A true return on investment.
• Bahamian Icon winner and a Nassau Guardian “Top 40 under 40”, Keshelle Davis helps companies improve their productivity and performance. She is the chief executive officer of The Training Authority, an internationally recognized speaker and author. Formerly she served as executive director of the Chamber Institute – the education arm of the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers’ Confederation (BCCEC) – and has impacted thousands through her mission is to educate, empower and inspire. Contact Keshelle at firstname.lastname@example.org.