You can’t engage people in a non-engaging way

Pretty straight forward isn’t it?  So, why is it do you think, that employee engagement still feels like such an elusive concept despite the vast and growing piles of evidence demonstrating that it makes complete business sense for us to focus on it?  

A number of people that I have dealt with recently are telling me that leaders in some cases are not fundamentally understanding that they need to do something different.  It’s a no brainer isn’t it?  Or is it possible that it is only so obvious when we are focussing on what needs to change within someone else?  It can be so much more difficult to take a good, hard look in the mirror and see what aspects of our own practice need to change.  So maybe we need to try and empathise with and support leaders who understand the need to drive engagement on a conceptual level, but who are struggling with making that a reality.  

Could one of the difficulties be that there is no sense of urgency in respect of engagement, no ‘burning platform’?  We are trying to convince CEOs that driving engagement will lead to more sustainable performance improvement over time, but are basically asking them to operate differently right now in a context where their organisation is probably not failing.  It is always going to be difficult to persuade someone to move away from practices that they believe have worked to date.  

I was heartened to listen to Jane Sparrow’s feature on Engage for Success radio yesterday, which was delivered in such a straight-forward, easily understandable way that any leaders listening couldn’t fail to conclude that there are things they can do today, right now, that can make a positive difference for individuals and teams within their organisations.

If everyone in a leadership role can identify a single thing that they could start doing differently today (even better, ask their team(s) what that thing should be, maybe we will start to see a small shift.