If there’s a buzz word today, its ‘engagement’.
Less than 30% of our work force is actually engaged.
How do we fix it?
Here’s what won’t fix it:
- Jeans on Friday
- A Keurig in the break room
- Certificates or ‘rocks’ to celebrate awesomeness
What will fix it is when we realize that our organizational cultures are ill and need to be treated.
Treatments, while diverse and dependent on each organizational microcosm, require as much attention as do the day-to-day vital factors your leadership team is examining.
And treatments begin at the top.
We can’t fix engagement from the bottom up.
If you have an engagement problem in your organization, you have a leadership problem.
It’s a tough pill to swallow.
But it’s the one you have to be willing to get, if you’re going to ever make the kind of change that lasts and promotes long term, organizational health.
Next, we have to understand what ‘engagement’ is.
Engaged is either an action or a feeling.
To feel engaged, you must believe something about your workplace that drives that emotion.
I love it here.
I like my boss.
I have a lot of opportunity.
What I do matters.
These are all thoughts that may trigger an emotion of engagement.
We cannot control what people think.
BUT we can control how we show up as leaders and how we influence other people’s thinking.
Leaders who work hard to manage their minds and are thoughtful about their messaging can have tremendous, positive influence on engagement.
Leaders who don’t manage themselves and behave like two years olds, not managing their words and their actions, can also have a tremendously profound impact on team engagement.
When you sign up to lead, you sign up to demonstrate maturity and responsibility in your behavior and actions.
When you don’t. You hurt people’s thinking.
And when you hurt their thinking, you create disengagement.
When you have a workforce that feels disengaged, undervalued, unsupported, scared, fearful, etc.… You get disengaged behavior.
If you want to change your culture;
Step one is to hold leaders as accountable to their behavior as you do their metrics.
This is the step that allows all the others you may try to work.
When we help our leaders understand their impact on others, we can make sustainable, lasting change to our culture.
But … it’s hard.
So much harder than ordering a few Keurigs from Amazon, right?