About a month ago, I posted a variety of loose thoughts on what I've been calling Energized Working. In a nutshell, I offered that Energized Working was different from Flow, that it required an amalgamation of aligned elements, that it had the potential to operate over an elongated time horizon, that focus and optimism often seemed to be at play, and that I was just starting to scratch the surface on my exploratory work.
Last week, I pushed forward a bit and leaned on my friends for perspectives. Picking 35 folks in a very unscientific way, I asked two questions: 1) How would you rate your current work/professional energy? and 2) What factors contributed most when you last felt most energized at work?
The results were interesting -- to say the least!
First, ~2/3 of those asked actually answered the survey. This shocked me as typically surveys I've conducted have gotten less than 50% response rates. Way less. I optimistically looked at this as an indicator that people were interested. And several of the comments I've gotten since further demonstrate interest in the topic. Maybe we're on to something here. Thank you deeply to everyone who took the time to respond!
Second, my friends are feeling better than I would have imagined. While ~8% indicated their energy was relatively low, ~60% said that it was pretty good. And a full ~32% (nearly one in three) said their energy was excellent. Wow. I didn't expect such good energy (but again, since this was an unscientific survey there are likely all kinds of biases and skews at play here).
Third, the ranking and focus on energizing factors was intriguing. Per below, 100% of respondents indicated that a great team was a primary factor in contributing to the last time they felt energized at work. Amazing, right? I can't think of the last time 100% of my friends agreed on anything!
Some items that I personally expected to be higher in the survey, weren't. For example, only 40% of respondents indicated that meaningful work relationships were major energizing factors. And a great boss? Only 44% felt significantly energized via their boss (sorry to my managerial readers).
While the survey was intentionally skewed towards motivating factors, hygienic elements were included as I was curious to see how people would respond (for deeper perspectives, see Herzberg's motivator-hygiene, or two-factor, theory). And via conscious intention or not, work hygiene factors like compensation (30%) and a commute (9%) found their way to the bottom of the list.
In other words, minimal dissatisfiers don't produce energy.
Here's the full set of responses:
What do you think? Did I skew the survey too much via who we selected and/or the choices I provided? Do these results seem aligned with what you might expect? Is this whole Energized Working thing something new...or are we just backing our way into yet another test of happiness or flow, subjects well covered elsewhere?
As always, I'd love your feedback, via either a comment below or to steve at alder dot vc via email.
And until next time, I hope that your energy is high and your hygienic dissatisfiers low!