Recently, there has been more and more scrutiny over whether employee engagement is a fad, that actually doesn’t deliver any business benefit other than make employees feel good. Whilst having employees feeling good might be a nice thing, converting this into tangible business results is a whole new matter. So, have we all been sold a ‘pup’? A myth, spurred on by greedy consultants looking to make as much money as possible, creating a ‘fear’ of not having an engaged workforce?
In a world of mistrust, you can understand how people want to question everything. But let me ask you, did you ever work for someone you absolutely admired, who took an interest in you, you career and your development? How hard did you work for them? What about a role you did, working for an egotistical tyrant, just out for himself, where you were never good enough, and they had no interest in you, and your development? How hard did you work then? Whilst engagement as a subject has been described by Kahn as early as the 1990s, and continues to be developed by various organisations, it boils down to looking after your people, so they can do the very best job they can, with passion.
Great leaders know they cannot do everything, or indeed be good at everything. They need great people around them, who have the tools to do their jobs, with clarity of purpose, shared values and a clear focus of the goal that everyone is working towards. Great leaders enable their teams to do great work, by removing obstacles and supporting their teams.
Are you struggling to attract the ‘right’ talent? How much passion are your teams working with? People don’t go and work for the first job they can find, and especially not Gen Y. Now, more than ever, people are leaving organisations that are not fulfilling their needs as individuals. Ironically, this talent drain is being impacted by the quality of leadership.
Is engagement a fad? If you’ve ever worked for a great leader and a poor leader, you probably know the answer. Whilst the labels may change, meeting the needs of talented people, who want to do great work, will never be a fad, and will never go out of fashion. This is business critical and will dictate how long your company survives. Many organisations’ experience of engagement is a survey, which results in long-winded action planning, that leads to very little change. Engagement is so much more than this. When we haven’t faced into the realities of how to truly engage, how can we question whether it works? I may go to the gym every day, but if I am going to sit in the café and indulge in lattes, I cannot question whether going to the gym can truly help me lose weight, yet isn’t that exactly what we are doing here?
Bring out the passion of your teams and help them deliver their best, and then let's see what engaging your people can really deliver…
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