An engaged employee is ‘a person who is fully involved in, and enthusiastic about, his or her work’.
Now, try to find out from a truthful top executive how many engaged people work in his company and you would probably get an answer ‘about half of them or less’.
Should top executives be concerned about that?
In my post Leadership and “happy” organization I wrote: there is a Gallup-poll of a 1.5 million sampling, and the result is: 30% of employees are happy with their managers, 20% are not, and 50% have disengaged themselves in having any feelings at all. This is when employees show up for work, did what they are told to do, and, at the end of their shift, go home; the same routine would be repeated the next day.
The post Inspiring others dealt with how to inspire others. From my point of view I first have to admit that in my previous work life I had straightforward expectations in the workplace, ones that aren't always easy to meet. I did expect my ideas to be heard by my superiors, I did expect robust debate with my peers, and I did demand from those I lead to offer up new solutions and ideas regardless their positions. I did like the freedom to fiddle with different approaches and come up with innovative ways to tackle new challenges without having to handle the tedious step-by-step implementation of these plans. I know that this doesn't always make friends, but being liked was less of my goal than being respected and seen as intelligent and capable. But do not-engaged employees have similar views if they do not get what they expect?
I would say yes, as employee engagement also affects the mindset of people. From my experience and expectations I would say that engaged employees truly believe that they could make a difference in the organizations they work for. They anticipate to be ‘allowed’ to do it. Therefore, those employees are committed to their organization’s goals and values, motivated to contribute to organizational success, and are, at the same time, able to enhance their own sense of well-being.
To build up a highly engaged workforce takes a combination of many things, each impacting people in different ways from organizational culture, management and/or leadership, award system and more. I would like to stress that in an engaged organizations there are strong and authentic values with clear evidence of trust and fairness based on mutual respect, where two way promises and commitments are understood and fulfilled. This is then mirrored to employees’ love of their work and consequently on the organizational environment/culture’s support of engagement. And that brings along how they treat customers, how they innovate and (continuously) improve business.
Motivating employees is well researched area that proved most carrot-and-stick motivators don't work in the long term. People just get so fixated on the reward that they lose interest in the activity itself. But be careful: it isn't really about the free food and nap pods that some companies like to offer.
Studies show that when dealing with engagement the organization's culture, employee’s profile, leadership approach and even geographical location will definitively dictate the format and content of employees’ engagement.
Are you empowering your people with motivation to be engaged? How do you motivate them?