Culture : How things are done around here
Engagement : How employees feel about how things are done around here
When we are fully engaged with the task at hand, we are more aware, more active and more focused on what we’re doing. When we are not engaged, we go through the motions, and we don’t give the task our undivided attention.
If you are a sports fan think of what happens when you’re watching a big event and you’re an avid, enthusiastic fan of one of the teams or players. You cheer when they do well, you shout at the officials when things don’t go your way, and pound your fists on the table when the opponent scores against you. You are engaged with what you’re observing – maybe so much that others observing your behaviour think you’re nuts!! Especially if you’re in a public place watching!!
Now think about the experience of watching an event if you don’t really care about either team or player. You love the sport, so you’re at home and you’ve turned the game on, but as it goes on, you find yourself easily distracted. If someone were to ask you the score, you might not even know. Your mind may drift elsewhere, or you may get so bored you end up falling asleep on the sofa!
In the first instance, you’re completely involved and excited about every moment. In the second instance, you are barely aware of what’s happening. Yet in both cases, the sport on the screen is the sport you love. What’s the difference?
The difference is your level of engagement
This same principle applies to the people who work for you: They could be totally passionate about their jobs – watching every set piece, passage of play, every serve, every volley – or they could be uninterested and easily distracted. They could even be napping during the game!!
Most likely, your company lies somewhere between these extremes, but one thing is painfully obvious: The lower the engagement level of your organisation, the lower your people’s productivity and motivation. The leader of a disengaged organisation is caught in a downward spiral, and they often feel little hope. This lack of passion and energy filters into every aspect of the business, and thus becomes a self-perpetuating cycle.
The business and individuals working in it become trapped in survival mode. While the owner worries about paying wages and bills, the disengaged employees do the minimum amount of work. They feel no motivation to work harder, smarter, or faster.
The evidence supporting the power of engagement is overwhelming, here is just one example – According to the Corporate Leadership Council, Engaged organisations grow profits up to three time faster than their competitors. They also report that highly engaged companies are able to reduce staff turnover by eighty-seven percent.
This could happen to your organisation, it will take work, and frankly bravery and courage on your part to listen, take on feedback and implement changes together as a team that will positively impact your results.