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This is part two of my story of employee engagement at LifeSearch – an amazing company doing amazing things.

LifeSearch is not a client of mine, I’ve never worked for them, and I’m not their client. I became interested in their culture through the words, energy and engagement of Facebook posts of Anthony Andreoli, who is a friend of mine. This is part two of my blog into the secret to employee engagement – the LifeSearch way.

In part two I consider the why of LifeSearch. Quotes are from Anthony Andreoli, Adviser and Protection Specialist, Duncan McMillan, L&D Manager, and Gareth Jones, People and Business Manager.

Most of us are familiar with the Simon Sinek TED talk on ‘find you why’. If you’re not, then this is worthy of 18 minutes of your time:

According to Sinek, every great company knows their why. Duncan explains the link to employee engagement. “For us, engagement is about the why – it’s not enough to train people in what to do, you need to discuss why. Then they are engaged.”

“We believe in why we do the things we do.” Duncan continues.  “We want to protect UK families. It’s that simple. Once people get the why, they’re engaged.”.

This means “we are committed to do the right thing”, is how Anthony phrases it. “We share stories of the people we have helped, and of the hardship we have saved them. It keeps us focused on why we do what we do.”

Duncan takes it up – “If people are here just for the money, they won’t be able to protect UK families. They won’t feel engaged. It’s as simple as that.”

Gareth develops on what LifeSearch does with the people who don’t get the why: “Whilst we’re not afraid to challenge our people, what we really try to do is to align our people’s why with our why as a business, and forge strong links between the two.  If someone understands how their why can be met by helping us achieve our why, then we have the recipe for success.

This is where our role as Leaders come in. Our role is to understand our people well enough to know what is important to them, and then base our relationships around aligning all of these things together.”

Duncan continues “There is enormous power in sharing our stories. Becoming story tellers has helped us re-enforce the why. Our focus is people – for LifeSearch, everything we do is about people. We share our stories, about the ups and downs of life. People have shared some truly heart breaking stories with each other. It reminds us how fragile life is, and reinforces our vision – that LifeSearch can ease the heartbreak for UK families.”.

Writing this has caused reflection on my own why. I was given the feedback last week that I’m in the right job, as trainer and facilitator in The Development Company – my why in life is about enabling people to be the best they can be. Other roles had my commitment, but not my engagement.

Key points:

  • Use storytelling to emphasise why you do what you do.
  • Ensure the why is built into your coaching, Management, and development
  • Align the why of your people with the organisational why

In part three, we will cover how LifeSearch enables their people to achieve in their role – the what.

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