The concept of employee engagement is used so frequently in the world of work, I often see my leadership colleagues in a variety of industries roll their eyes when it comes up in conversation.
Yet, they publicly espouse the value and priority of having an engaged workforce...that it will make a huge difference in the performance of their companies...and that without it they will fall behind their competition.
I think I've stumbled onto one of the disconnects between leaders and engaged employees.
The Leader Lens
In my experience, I see many leaders wishing they could somehow "see" or "feel" the engagement of the employees. I'm not entirely sure what this means though.
- Should there be big smiles all day every day?
- Should there be verbal expressions of gratitude?
- Should there be public displays of a$$ kissing?
Regardless the expectation, the notion that a tangible behavior validates a degree of workforce engagement seems to be more important than whether or not they actually are engaged in the first place.
The Employee Lens
Here's my candid take on the employee side of the engagement issue.
Create a positive energy in the workplace, prioritize their needs, be supportive and inclusive, share as much as you can as quickly as possible, pay competitively, recognize good performers and remove poor ones, be accessible to the team, be clear on expectations and performance, don't trick yourself into believing your job title makes you smarter than the team, laugh at yourself, be honest, be fair, be human.
Oh, and I don't think they necessarily want to jump up and down in joyful praise...they just want to do a good job.
How About You
Try strapping the employee lens on when you walk out of your office this afternoon. How does your world look now? Any different?
I'd love to hear from you.