Get yourself engaged

Reading time: 4 minutes

Where did it all begin? This need for engagement metrics – where employers have started to work on actively ‘engaging’ their employees. Surveying employee engagement, measuring it, sending leaders and managers into an annual spiral of activity, to increase a number to affect their own bonuses. How did we all cope before then?

Why the fuss now? Hasn’t the dial gone to far?

Whose job is it anyway?

Here’s a challenge – shouldn’t we all be taking personal responsibility for how engaged we feel? Isn’t our motivation (and therefore our engagement) a choice?

We know that some people feel they have little choice about the job they do and the role they play. Some incompetent leaders and managers can also make it pretty challenging for those they lead to feel engaged, all of the time. But, in the majority of cases, ‘what are you doing to engage yourself?’ is a legitimate question.

What you can do

If you’re a leader/manager
Next time you get the results of the engagement survey from your people, why not try turning to them and saying: “Here are the results of the engagement survey. I’m really interested in what you’re planning to do to keep/raise your levels of engagement. Please let me know…and let me know if I can help.”

If you’re an employee
Next time you’re asked to complete an employee engagement survey, note down the questions, then ask yourself what you can do to actually feel more engaged. Rather than taking a passive approach to your engagement and motivation, waiting to be engaged by somebody or something, see if you can take action yourself, immediately. Try it.

Maybe it’s not your fault
Maybe your feelings of (dis-)engagement are because of your boss or because of something else that’s outside of your control. Even so, are you not responsible for your own motivation? Or is that something that you signed away responsibility for when you started the job?

“Yes please, I’d be delighted to accept your job offer. Now please engage me.” If that wasn’t something you said once, why not try taking control of your motivation, despite the playing conditions you’re in and see how it can impact your confidence and feelings of engagement at work as a result?

Employee engagement, my arse!

As a leader and manager you have an important role to play – to help those you lead to feel connected to what they do – to be clear on a direction in which you’re all heading, to help people to understand the value of their contribution and to help them feel more confident through personal growth.

However, are you really 100% responsible for engagement? This could be the impression you’re giving. Why not try a different approach?

As an employee, don’t slip into the stupor of giving away personal responsibility for your motivation. You applied for the job, even if it’s not what it was cracked up to be, there are always options for you. Focus on what you can control, take an interest in your business and what it does and find a purpose within that.

Value what you do, build your network of support around you and develop yourself wherever and whenever you can.

And then…the scores might go up!