Jan 23 2012
What does engagement really take?
Employee Engagement has been niggling at me. Something doesn’t seem quite right about the whole area: from surveys to programs.
It became clear when I heard a Senior Executive say she wanted to engage employees more. It sounded like what she really wanted was for them to do more of what she wanted them to do; and to do it with enthusiasm. That’s doing it to people; not with them. Maybe that’s why they’re not engaged.
In Engaging the Soul at Work, Lewin and Regine state,
“…trying to influence people to believe in what they are doing, without seeing who the person is, wanting them to be something for you rather than recognizing them for who they are, is an act of imposition, not engagement. To be blunt, it’s dehumanizing.”
Instead of wanting to engage employees more, how can you make room for their unique gifts and talents? How can you invite them to contribute what inspires them? If you are recognizing them for who they are, the perceived need for a survey, initiative or program to encourage engagement with fade and people will be called to engage.