Here’s the short history of Captain America:
- Too scrawny to join the military to fight in WWII
- Was pumped with PEDs
- PEDs made him all buff…and tan, for some reason
- Single-handedly won the war, including give a certain mustachioed fuhrer a swirly (I could be wrong on that one)
- Took an ice nap for 50 years or so, woke up still buff…and tan, for some reason
- Became leader of The Avengers and symbol of good stuff everywhere
There’s more, of course, but this isn’t Wikipedia.
So what does The Cap look like in the workplace?
- Started low in the ranks. Maybe the mailroom, maybe an intern, maybe the boss’ kid.
- Has worked on development, either with someone’s guidance or on their own. This could mean learning new languages, programming skills, getting an MBA, CPA, or other professional certifications. To be clear, this isn’t on the level of “hey, now I’m slightly better at that thing I already knew how to do.” This is a “leaps and bounds” kind of improvement.
- They display fierce loyalty. Whether to the company, their customers or their boss, they know who they work for, and they go full speed to please that person.
So what do you do with your own Captain? How do you keep them engaged and productive? Because your Cap is a prime example of an employee who is motivated by more than money.
The good news is it doesn’t require much effort on your part. Cap wants to work. Cap wants to succeed. Cap wants to make the world/office/cubicle a better place. Your job is to support your Cap. Make sure your Cap knows how much you value them. Use them as an example when they succeed. Putting them in your marketing material wouldn’t hurt either. Give them a crusade (read: big project) to chase.
We spend so much time talking about employee engagement that we sometimes forget that once they are engaged, you not only can do great things, but that your leaders have to be ready to tell them what those great things are. No one wants to see a movie about Captain Restripe-The-Parking-Lot or Captain Vending-Machine-Choices.
America, baby. Captain America. Think big. You won’t be disappointed.