The Energy Project

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Re-Energizing Your Work

The vast majority of employees feel depleted, diminished, and disengaged. This isn’t a surprise given our knowledge-driven society. Our capacity can’t meet current demands especially if we don’t make a shift in how we work. Humans aren’t like computers; we need to renew and re-energize. It’s about managing energy rather than time. The Energy Project, founded by Tony Schwartz in 2003, partnered with Harvard Business Review to study 20,000 employees in dozens of countries.

Here’s what they learned:

  • 43% are unable to balance work and home life and are able to disengage from work
  • More than half (52%) don’t feel a sense of community
  • Only 16% of employees feel they have regular time for creative or strategic thinking
  • Over two-thirds (68%) don’t have the ability to focus on one thing at a time
  • A third (34%) actually connect to a company’s mission
… Bob and I dug into the communication strategies that encouraged my team to move from “afraid to engage.” It was well worth the investment of time and energy.

The good news is that hundreds of organizations all over the world are embracing strategies that help employees better manage their energy at work and in their personal lives.  The Energy Project found there are three leadership characteristics that had the biggest impact on all performance variables. These characteristics are:

  1. Treating employees with respect. This behavior impacts the sense of safety and trust, furthering an employee’s ability to focus and succeed. Employees who felt their leaders treated them respectfully were 63% more satisfied, 55% more engaged, and 58% more focused.
  2. Recognizing and appreciating employees. Those who felt recognized and engaged were 100% more likely to stay with their organizations.
  3. Being positive and optimistic. When leaders model positive practices and support more sustainable ways of working, team members follow suit and are 51% more engaged.
59% of employees frequently find themselves feeling irritable, impatient or anxious at work.
~ 2014 Energy Project & HBR Survey

Managing Energy Across Multiple Dimensions

As an executive coach and certified trainer with The Energy Project, I’ve found that the most successful leaders model energy management behavior that enables them and their teams perform at their best. Together we’ll explore how you manage energy across these dimensions:

Physical – We all know the benefits of sleep and exercise in maintaining our physical wellbeing. When you’re well rested, you focus and think clearly. Regular exercise reduces stress and anxiety. Yet 59% of employees don’t regularly get enough sleep and 58% don’t take regular breaks during the day to recharge their energy reserves.

Emotional – Optimism and fueling focus with positive emotions dramatically improves performance. Yet most employees operate in the Survival Zone — an emotional state where one is negative, reactive and fearful — which leads to burnout and turnover.

Mental – Gaining control of our attention leads to greater productivity and satisfaction. In a world where multi-tasking is habitual, it takes us 25% longer to complete a task with 30% more errors.

Spiritual – Connecting core values, vision and purpose require introspection and uninterrupted time. When people feel vested in a shared purpose, they engage and align their work to accomplish amazing goals. Yet 60% of employees feel their decisions at work are influenced more by external factors rather than a strong, clear sense of purpose.