I spend a great deal of time hearing about employee engagement, what it means for companies, and what it means for employees.
I think about the tiny career I’ve had so far (yeah, I’m only three years into my career), how my level of engagement has fluctuated, and my top three reasons behind it:
- Sometimes it’s personal. Maybe it’s a family problem, or…a boy. Yeah, I’m that girl. I wear my heart on my sleeve so personal problems are sometimes hard to leave at the door and sometimes unfortunately have an adverse impact.
- Sometimes it’s being beat down in a meeting or feeling small. Here’s the deal – disagree with the idea and not the person. So often I see people disagree with someone’s idea simply because it is an idea from person X. Get your head out of your hiney and listen to what the person is actually saying. And beyond that, disagree from here to heaven all you want, but you better have a great alternative to offer. BUILD on someone’s idea and find the good in it so that a person feels like they have made a contribution.
- Sometimes it’s team dynamics. Every work team is going to have a different dynamic. Dynamic is not to be taken positively or negatively, but some dynamics can have a negative impact on a person. Do you say hello to everyone on your work team at some point during the day? I’m not kidding when I say that simply saying, “Hello, how was your weekend?” can make a huge different in a person’s willingness to work with a higher level of engagement. If someone feels like they matter to their teammates, they are going to want to put more in to have a greater output for the whole team.
I’m keeping it at my top three. There are other reasons that a person’s engagement will be there – or not: do they feel that their opinion matters, do they have the tools to do their job, are they being challenged and finally, is there room for advancement? These are obviously only tips of the iceberg as there are so many reasons why a person is going to be engaged.
There is something I’ve learned for myself as it relates to engagement of others. I ask myself two questions, “what can I do better and how can I ensure that I can control what I can control?”
I actually have a small list for myself that I will share with you:
- I will say hello to those on my work team and others who work in my area.
- I will ensure to ask the opinion of everyone in meetings. Introverts won’t speak their opinion all the time.
- I will think about the language I use. It’s important, especially in HR, to be aware of the words that are coming out of my mouth.
- I will be willing to challenge opinions and ideas and not people and to challenge in a way that is appropriate.
Engagement is a topic I am actually quite passionate about. Engagement drives higher-producing teams which then means our organizations will also reap the benefits.
So that’s how I feel about engagement. How do you feel?