Employee engagement is all the rage.
Employers are willing to invest thousands on programs and consultants designed to increase employee engagement, and no wonder.
When employees are engaged, they do their best work on the job, and they will remain loyal even when the pay rate may not be the best in the industry.
High turn over can often be correlated to the perceived level of engagement of the employees.
When employees do not feel they are engaged on the job, they tend to experience increased dissatisfaction, leading to other employment.
Awareness is a good thing.
Investment in programs designed to increase employee engagement is also a good thing, but engagement is more often than not a function of relationships.
It is often said that people don’t leave jobs; they leave supervisors.
This can sting a little when you have an exemplar performer promoted because of their outstanding work performance, but they lack people skills.
And what are “people skills” anyway?
How do you measure people skills, even worse, how do you train for it when it is lacking?
One starting place is respect.
Does the management resect labor?
When a decision must be made, are the people that must implement the decision consulted?
Does the management team demonstrate the behavior they wish to see in others?
Do you treat others the way you wish to be treated?
Engaged is a lovely word.
It reminds me of my engagement period with my wife.
If you are married, do you remember that period?
Sure, it was stressful trying to plan a wedding and a new life together, but how did you feel about your future spouse?
Chances are you were thrilled to be getting married, and you wanted to spend every waking moment with your fiancé.
That kind of engagement is a high bar for the workplace. The engagement an employee experience at work is certainly not the same as what might be felt for a fiancé, but when the chemistry is right, there is undoubtedly a sense of excitement and hope.
Are you engaged?
If you aren’t, what might it take, what might you need to change so that you are?
Are your employees engaged?
If not, why not?