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Engage Your Employees with the CAMP Method of Motivation and Engagement

Engage-Luc-Picard“Engage!”  Captain Jean Luc Picard of the USS Enterprise would say with authority, pointing his finger forward, on Star Trek: The Next Generation.  Once he gave the command, the Enterprise and crew would make it possible to move forward, to ‘engage’ the thrusters, to jump into warp drive and continue to explore the universe (of course at “maximum warp!”).

Not unlike the USS Enterprise, today’s workplace needs to ‘engage’ to move forward.  Look at these recent statistics on employee and workplace engagement:

  • 71% of all employees are not fully engaged
  • 80% of employees dissatisfied with their direct manager were disengaged
  • 70% of employees who lack confidence in the abilities of senior leadership are not fully engaged
  • 54% of employees who were proud of their companies contributions to society are engaged
  • Companies that have engaged employees outperform those who have not by 202%

But how to engage this new workforce is a question we hear a lot.  In Survival of the Hive, Zync, our queen-in-waiting, learning 7 valuable leadership lessons, is faced with the same situation as a leader.  “But how do you build that passion and yearning for excellence in the bees?” Zync asks Vision, Strategy, and Belief, her mentors.

The characters then work together to formulate a new model of engagement and motivation.  It’s nothing as advanced as warp speed.  In fact it’s pretty easy to remember.  But, it might also be one of the hardest lessons to implement because it takes due diligence, a commitment to each of your worker bees and a belief that it’s worth it.  Zync and her mentors develop the CAMP Model of Motivation and Engagement which in turn helps Zync build a Survival of the Hive philosophy in her hive.

CAMP is an acronym that stands for various components of the model.

C stands for competency – how well does the bee know what it’s doing in its various roles?  A bee actually stays a while in the hive when it’s first born in order to learn and grow in a very incubated state. It then moves through various roles before it’s ever allowed out of the hive.  Through its various roles (house bee, scout, forager) the bee is building its competency and confidence to accomplish the task appropriately.

A stands for autonomy – each bee is free to roam over the hive, sealing any honey cap that hasn’t been sealed, sending an A-Alarm or R-Alarm if danger is present, and communicating directly with the Queen if needed.

M stands for meaningfulness.  As the statistics above point out, employees who are proud of their organizations are more likely to engage. Meaningfulness is two-fold.  The bees must know what their roles are in the larger mission of the hive – its long-term survival.  Likewise, the bees must also be aware of their own meaningfulness to the whole organization.  “You matter, this wouldn’t work without your help.”

P stands for progress.  Bees get energized by accomplishing things like capping honey cells, starting on a new ‘super’ or surviving a winter.  Employees are the same way, they must see that they are moving along a career path. Sometimes it may be little baby steps of progress (allowed to run a meeting, being named to a committee) and other times it may be a promotion.

As leaders (whether that be of a team, group, department, or organization) we must put each of our employees through this formula and decide where each one is and what they might need from us.  A new employee or one given a new project needs a lot of competency building and feelings of meaningfulness, whereas an older employee may need more autonomy and a sense of progress.  You know your employees best, where do you see an opportunity to connect with them and engage them more? Think of two different levels of employees/staff that report to you, where do they stand in the CAMP model?

Much like the USS Enterprise, engagement needs the command and push from a captain to finally move forward.  They need you to point your finger forward, out into unchartered territory, and say with confidence, “Engage!”

Make sure to pick up your copy of Survival of the Hive: 7 Leadership Lessons From A Beehive and explore more of the CAMP Method of Motivation and Engagement


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An innovative training and employee development firm located in southern Vermont since 1984, we specialize in helping organizations get the most out of their people by raising the bar, inspiring potential and partnering with organizations to build a people-centered, high-engagement culture.

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