Workplace Engagement What is the Big Deal
What is the Big Deal About Workplace Engagement?
The big deal about workplace engagement is that it is, reportedly, at an alarmingly low level. The negative impact that workplace engagement has on effectiveness, productivity and the bottom line makes workplace engagement a very big deal. We have all experienced an employee who seems to have no interest at all in our success as a client of the business that employs them. Some might point to certain levels of government, or institutions or big corporate. Workplace engagement is a factor in any organization. Larger, faceless, almost soulless organizations present a particular challenge when it comes to growing the level of engagement. That said, it certainly remains a big deal even in organizations we would deem to be small.
What is it? Workplace engagement is a measure of commitment and contribution to advancing the aims of the organization and its stakeholders.
Many of the Executives I Coach with tell me that one of the biggest factors in reaching greater success is the engagement of the employees. It also seems that the biggest negative impact of low engagement is seen at the lowest levels of the organization. The assembly line worker, if not engaged, makes more mistakes, takes more time, negatively influences more people around them and undermines the mores of the organization, more than any other. At least, with a more senior person, their effect is more easily noticed and action can be taken sooner to mitigate the damage. And yes, true, lack of engagement at the top can too quickly become a cancer that can undermine everything. Statistically, though, lack of engagement in the CEO levels is rarely as weak as at lower levels. At lower more populous levels, decreasing engagement can be a like a growing number of small leaks taking the success level of the whole place towards complete destruction. Harder to pinpoint and collectively a huge drain.
What is it that the top layer has that the lower layers do not always have access to? The top levels know they have influence, they know they can make a decision that will make differences, they know they have some power to effect changes and they have access to considerable data that paints a picture of the organization that the basic worker does not see. They have capacity to feed their own engagement. By that I mean, it is a named part of their job. From these differences, the Executive can at least model engagement by
- Looking and moving in an engaged manner, appearing engaged
- Increasing communication, all the info, no games, helpful, two way
- Being consistent and transparent, demonstrating and fostering trust
- Invite and contribute, delegate, offer ideas, help others, let others help the Executive too (a big one)
- Providing opportunities for others to contribute, invite, listen more than speak, be grateful and encourage staff to make a difference, applaud
What is the level of engagement across your organization?
Have a look at this recent article on the topic Daily Employee Engagement
I find the data disturbing, especially how pervasive the problem seems to be. Where in the data shown is your company or organization?
Here is another article about workplace engagement that you might enjoy – What is Employee Engagement?
How do you address engagement?