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Talking Point: The Disney Institute Blog

Employee Care: Why Following the ‘Golden Rule’ Isn’t Necessarily Best in the Workplace

June 11, 2015 by Bruce Jones, Senior Programming Director, Disney Institute

It’s become increasingly clear that although, "Treat others as you would want to be treated,” is what the Golden Rule tells us to do, it’s probably not the best approach when it comes to the workplace. Instead, to foster true employee engagement, a better approach is to treat others as they would want to be treated

I recently came across an interesting infographic that examines different working preferences, styles, and personality characteristics associated with extroverts and introverts. According to the infographic, 60 percent of us are extroverts, while the remaining 40 percent are introverts—and each has unique preferences for how they want to interact with co-workers and be treated in the workplace. 

At Disney Institute, when it comes to fostering and sustaining true employee engagement, we believe the extent to which you GENUINELY care for your employees IS the extent to which they will care for your customers—and each other. And, we have seen at Disney that one of the strongest signals of genuine care is providing recognition for our Cast in ways that are meaningful to the individual rather than simply defaulting to past practice or the leader’s preference.

So, as a leader, knowing which of your employees are extroverted or introverted could help to tailor your recognition efforts and personalize the experience to the individual. For example, extroverts probably like to be rewarded publicly, while introverts might prefer to be recognized in a small group or private setting.

This is just one quick example of how tailoring your approach to individual personality styles could be more impactful, versus a “one-size-fits-all” approach. When employees feel personally cared for, they’re more likely to pay personal attention to the people they interact with while on the job (customers and colleagues), as well as the work they do. 

Clearly, when it comes to workplace recognition, the “golden rule” is one that can—and often should—be broken. 

For more reading on this topic, check out these past Talking Point posts: Company Culture 101: Caring About Employees Beyond the Workplace, Spring Into Action: Catch Employees Doing It Right, and Four Ways to Show Genuine Care Year-Round

Tell us – The next time you recognize an employee or colleague, what is one thing you can do differently to tailor your approach to their individual style and preferences?

We’d love to hear from you!
Post your response below, or respond to us on Facebook or Twitter using Hashtag #DThinkBlog. 


Disney Institute is ready to help you apply strategic rigor to your customer experience efforts - call us at 321.939.4600 or complete our Contact Form




Posted in Employee Engagement | Tagged Employee Care, Genuine Care, Culture, Organizational Culture, Workplace Culture, Company Culture, Employee Engagement, Bruce Jones


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