Engagement – What is this?

Pat Demers - President/ Owner of Excel Thru Learning

Everyone is talking about engagement; but what does it really mean to be engaged? 

Engagement can be described as commitment, passion and a high level of productivity.  Engagement occurs when organizational and personal progress is measured, recognition is given, employee strengths are leveraged and there is meaning behind the work being done.

In every organization not all employees have the same level engagement.  In fact, in most organizations you will have some disengaged employees, if not all of the time, at least some of the time.

Understanding some of the benefits of an engaged workforce is what creates the drive to make change.  An engaged workforce creates a competitive edge, retention, profit, collaboration and innovation.  Engagement is something most of us want from our people; yet find it difficult to get. 

How can you achieve engagement?  My suggestions on how to do this may not be the complete or perfect answer for you, however, they may help just a little.

I would first want to determine with individuals what is important to them at work.  Everyone is unique and what may engage someone could potentially disengage someone else.  Don’t assume everyone is excited about feedback or that an excellent relationship with you will make the difference.  Talk, listen, and when possible give the employee what they suggest they need.  It may surprise you that it won’t likely be more money.  In fact, we all know people who work for organizations where salaries are low, but the employees are very engaged in their work.  Once you know what your employees need and you address that, you will need to put some measurements in place.  As creatures of habit it is easy for people to go back to where they were, that disengaged place, and you don’t want that to happen.

Measurement is critical to a sustainable engaged workforce.  In order to have accurate data, you start with current engagement levels.  This can be achieved by surveys, focus groups, one-on-one discussions or assessments.  Once you have this information and have had conversations with your people, you determine what needs to happen to improve engagement.  This typically means something has to change.  Once you initiate the change, you will need ongoing measurement on what is improving and what isn’t. It can be hard to get a definite number but in most organizations when employees are engaged, it is obvious – attendance has improved, idea generation is a normal occurrence, there are happy sounds such as laughter and positive conversations, less conflict and more open discussions where everyone participates and in general relationships are good.

If you have disengaged employees you are not getting the results you want and your employees are not getting what they need.

What are you doing to get engagement?

Join in the conversation by following this link to ‘revolutionHRy’ – our LinkedIn group dedicated to sharing knowledge, resources and expertise. Weigh in on our question: How does your organization fight for engagement with your most valuable asset – your people?

Your colleagues and peers in our group are looking forward to your response… Share your voice!