by Michael Holland    

We all like to engage in discretionary spending.  Tapping into an employee’s discretionary energy can be just as rewarding.  What is discretionary energy? It’s that willingness to go “above and beyond,” give the extra effort, have a personal commitment to excellence or provide creativity that enhances the team.  An employee’s discretionary energy can be tapped when she feels connected to the company and valued as an employee. She is confident in her leader, clearly knows what is expected of her and knows that your communication and actions will be consistent and reliable.

Make deposits to the energy bucket or fund.  Positive work relationships, effective performance management, open communication, rewards and recognition all make deposits into an employee’s discretionary energy fund.  With an adequate balance, employees easily make withdrawals and go the extra mile for you.

Take a moment to draw a box or bucket for each of your employees.  The box represents the Discretionary Energy Bucket or Fund.  Now draw the water line for each employee.  What steps can you take with each employee to fund her energy bucket?

Is the bucket full?  Then what steps can you take to cash in on some of that energy?