My husband and I caught the Psychedelic Furs at the House of Blues in New Orleans this past June and the show rocked! It was exceptional for many reasons:
- The night brought out friends I’d hung with during the 80s, a really fun time, and it was great to hang with them again.
- The Furs did two sets – the first was their album Talk, Talk, Talk (which includes Pretty in Pink) in its entirety and the second set was greatest hits.
- Saxophonist Mars Williams totally poured his heart out for two hours. I LOVE the sound of a saxophone but who doesn’t?
Are you wondering how this relates to management, the purpose of my blog? Well, in addition to the above, the show was fantastic because lead singer Richard Butler (photo on the left) and his brother Tim (bass guitarist in photo on the right) were totally into it, really connecting with the audience and clearly having a blast. You could see it and you could feel it.
Musicians are artists, yes, but that night they were also service providers. What we paid for was to be entertained and we were not disappointed. If only all service providers could be so into what they were doing and connected with their customers.
Academic researchers refer to this as employee engagement, a term for which many definitions exist. Mathis and Jackson define it as ‘the extent to which an employee feels linked to organizational success’. In a recent Journal of Business and Psychology article, engaged employees were defined as those who feel committed, involved, passionate, empowered, and who demonstrate those feelings in their behavior. The Psychedelic Furs were and did all of those things that night.
The article goes on to describe aspects of performance management that can lead to increased engagement:
- setting performance and development goals
- providing ongoing feedback and recognition
- managing employee development
- conducting mid-year and end-year appraisals
- building a climate of trust and empowerment
I certainly can’t explain how the Furs manage their performance to be so engaged but future posts in this blog will elaborate on the above and other performance management practices. A lesson here is that employee engagement can be cultivated.
Finally, some Psychedelic Furs trivia to close: According to Wikepedia, Pretty in Pink is a metaphor for “naked” and Richard Butler believes the movie totally misrepresented this original meaning. I never knew that until now. Did you?
Mone, E., Eisinger, C., Guggenheim, K., Price, B., & Stine, C. (2011). Performance management at the wheel: Driving employee engagement in organizations. Journal of Business and Psychology, 26, 205-212. doi: 10.1007/s10869-011-9222-9
Mathis, R. and Jackson, J. (2011). Human Resource Management. 13th edition. South-Western, Cengage Learning.