Engagement Programs vs. Engaging Leaders

By Warren Cook

In my experience I have encountered organizations that truly strive for “engagement” in the workplace.  However, the way an organization defines engagement impacts how the construct manifests itself in the workplace.  For example, if engagement is measured by employee feedback that communication from management is positive, then downward communication will be the only focus for engagement.  In contrast, if engagement means the level employees are drawn to, and stay with, the company because the culture embraces their ideas, diversity of thought, contributions, and capabilities, your approach as leaders would be entirely different.  A third perspective may highlight the behaviors of the leadership/management team that increase professional development, talent attraction and retention, and overall morale.

As you may quickly recognize, how your organization defines “engagement” will dictate how you approach the challenge of improving or increasing engagement in the workplace.

My suggestion – attack the goal of engagement from a variety of perspectives, since to reach your goal it will require involvement of the entire workforce.  One aspect of your engagement program, after aligning your leadership team on the definition of engagement, should be enhancing the emotional intelligence of your people leaders which will result in improved communication with their staff during professional development and performance management activities.  A second aspect of your engagement program should begin with who is involved in the talent acquisition and training programs.  A third aspect of your program should include a review of your operational processes to ensure all appropriate stakeholders and subject matter experts are involved in decision making and execution, improving both collaboration and engagement.

Seeking to improve your strategies and programs to create a more engaging workplace, however you are not sure what to change or perhaps where to even start?  Call or email us today and we can discuss next steps to accomplish your goals.