Everybody wants engagement. It is, after all, the magical fix for whatever ails your company.
Low profits? Engagement will boost them. Disgruntled workers? Engagement will gruntle them. It is entirely possible that engagement will cure cancer and introduce an era of political goodwill.
There are many different definitions of engagement. There are as many ways to measure it and produce it as there are consulting firms peddling their magic for a fee.
Maybe we’ve overcomplicated things. Maybe we don’t need all that.
I’ve seen lots of engaged work teams over the years. They turned out lots of high quality work. Morale was high. Those teams have been around for years, from way before anyone thought that something called “engagement” was some kind of secret sauce.
Engagement is an emergent property of a great working environment. Here how to create a great working environment.
Treat people fairly. Pay them fairly. Give them competitive benefits. Treat them like people, not file folders.
Give them something worthwhile to do. Nobody wants to spend a huge chunk of their life doing something that doesn’t even create a ripple in the pond of life. Give them a reason to come to work that’s bigger than the paycheck.
Hire good people for them to work with. That means people who can and will pull their own weight. It means people who get along well with others.
Help people make progress. Help them make progress in their work every day. Help them develop so they’re constantly improving and finding new challenges. Praise them for effort and progress. Recognize them for superior performance.
Select and support good supervisors all the way up the org chart. Good bosses are the key to making a team’s engagement emerge.
Boss’s Bottom Line
Your job is creating a great working environment on your team. You can’t do much about pay and benefits and hiring, but everything else is part of your job. If you make your team a great place to work, engagement will happen, as if by magic.
What do you think?
What can you do to improve engagement on your team?