More than 65% of employees in the US workforce are physically but not mentally present in the workplace and this lack of engagement costs the economy more than $450B in lost performance, productivity, and profitability.  What’s the cost to your organization?

At one time or another, you have probably heard this story:

A man came upon a construction site where three people were working.  He asked the first one, “What are you doing?” and the man replied: “I am laying bricks.” He asked the second worker, “What are you doing?” and the man replied: “I am building a wall.” As he approached the third worker, he heard him humming a tune as he worked, and asked, “What are you doing?” The man stood, looked up at the sky, and smiled, “I am building a cathedral!”

Which of These Builders are in Your Organization?

  • Brick layers put in their time day after day but don’t think about how their work supports the whole structure.  These brick layers are among the 16% of workers who are actively disengaged. They don’t’ feel valued for their efforts or connected to the end result.  They act as if they are working alone. They are the first ones to call off when the weather forecast is threatening and working slowly is their forte.
  • Wall builders see only what’s directly in front of them and their efforts stop there.  Wall builders are among the 51% of the workforce who are simply not engaged. They do just what is required and no more.  They don’t offer ideas and are not interested in developing their expertise. Wall builders plod along finding reasons to work harder, not smarter.
  • Cathedral builders see the big picture, are bursting with purpose and passion, and understand the value of their work.  Every brick they touch is carefully placed and perfectly aligned and they are willing to help others in their drive to make the dream into a reality. Cathedral builders want to learn all they can about cathedrals and to collaborate with their team to find the most efficient and effective processes to follow. We need more cathedral builders; they make up only 33% of the workforce.

As you think about each of these builders, ask yourself the following questions:

  • How does their work ethic and attitude impact productivity, performance, and profitability?
  • How do each of these builders represent your company?
  • How long do they stay with the company?
  • Which of these builders will willingly go above and beyond when necessary?
  • Who do you want on your team?
  • Which builder are you?

Simon Sinek, author of Start with Why, states “When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute.”  One way to nurture emotional investment and to cultivate cathedral builders is to help your employees discover their personal mission.

How to Create More Cathedral Builders

Personal mission statements create a sense of employee ownership and pride in organizational performance.  Here is a simple two-step Personal Mission Statement development process:

  1. Analyze your work by answering these three questions:
    1. What do I do?
    2. Who do I support?
    3. What do I produce?
  2. Using the answers above, craft your personal mission statement by finishing this statement: I add value by…

Following this process, the personal mission statement of our cathedral builder would look like this:

I add value by carefully placing and aligning each brick for maximum support and by helping my fellow workers with my expertise and guidance.

If your organization’s mission is to build a cathedral, help your employees become cathedral builders.  The first step is to cultivate a sense of employee ownership and pride in organizational performance by creating Personal Mission Statements.  Click here to get a free copy of the Personal Mission Statement Toolkit