The Mindful Leadership Blog

Just In! The future belongs to the smart, agile and engaged (Part Three)

March 28th, 2019

What’s hot?

You don’t need to be well read to know that we are in the midst of a significant organizational shift driven by technology that includes everything from big data to artificial intelligence.  The employee, leader and organization of tomorrow needs to be smart, agile and passionately engaged or connected.  Complex theories about what that entails, intensive organizational strategies, and expensive “fixes” are on the rise. This series of three blogs provides help that parallels what we need in our organizations – simple, powerful easy to implement approaches that make a difference.

This is blog three of three with a focus on ENGAGEMENT.









So what?  

What is engagement?  According to the Conference Board, engagement is a heightened emotional connection that employees feel for their organization, that influences them to exert greater discretionary effort to their work – when they have choices, they will act in ways that further their organization’s interests.  If you don’t have a lot of them, you are not alone.  According to Gallop’s most recent poll, 66% of employees are not engaged.

The answers for how to promote engagement are many. And despite millions if not billions spent on prompting greater levels of engagement, the needle has only begun to move just a little in the past five years.

We have watched many organizations measure and work the engagement issue for years with complex strategies.  Most recent efforts tap into neurological findings by David Rock and how to tap into SCARF factors (safety, security autonomy, relatedness and fairness).

What to do?

A few of our favored methods follow – simple and basic.  At their core is this fundamental question:  Why don’t we stop trying to figure out how to make people engaged and start asking them to make it happen?

  1. Ask supervisors what they say when staff diss the organization, its leaders or practices. Most don’t have a ready answer.  As a consequence, they allow the disenfranchised to paint the story for the rest.  That’s what typically causes a low rating of “I trust our senior leaders.”  Most employees don’t have much opportunity to see or interact with senior leaders.  Their beliefs are driven by what they hear.  Equip supervisors with the tools and strategies to advocate for the organization, its strategies and leaders.
  2. Ask every manager to put engagement on his/her monthly agenda and to ask three questions. What’s most exciting about the work we do?  What keeps you from being even more enthused?  What do we need to do about that?
  3. Ask every employee how passionate he/she is about the work that he/she does. If not thrilled, help him/her find something that is more meaningful.

Want ready access to micro lessons that help managers and their teams to be smart, agile, and passionately engaged? Look to instantaccess for micro lessons that include Get Unfrozen to Act in The Moment, Be Inquisitive to Be Brilliant, and Tap into Design Thinking to Do Things Better, Faster, Cheaper. Better yet, sample one of those lessons here.

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