Why Many Companies Struggle With Employee Engagement

Are we going about it wrongly? Is employee engagement even about the number of activities, or is there something more to it? If so, what is it all about.

Truth is, employee engagement boils down to one simple truth: engagement is an emotion which often shows itself in traits like – loyalty, commitment, and initiative. When you experience your people showing up as such, you know you have engagement. The way to secure an emotion (engagement) is not by organising activities (although having activities is still important), but it’s more about how the environment that is created at the workplace everyday, than the number of organised programmes.

Read on to find out what we mean exactly.

1. Engagement happens when your workplace is a joyplace.

A company becomes a Joyplace when it fulfils all of the following:

Here’s the original source :

When you are able to fulfil all of your people’s needs, you are sending a message to your employees. I truly care. That is when your employees will begin to truly care about your business. People are reciprocative in nature – when they experience genuine care consistently at the workplace, it is only natural that they will choose to give back. Notice that they are not necessarily linked with monetary terms, as finance isn’t the only factor that activates engagement. That is only the lowest level – survival.

When companies are able to fulfil all levels, your company transforms into a Joyplace. And where there is Joy, there is motivation, drive and engagement. That’s when your employees can focus on the thing that matters – your business results.

2. Engagement happens when your managers are leaders, not dictators.

Groom your management to lead your employees in the right direction instead of ordering them to walk a specific path. Leaders are able to recognize different perspectives while dictators live by the book. Leaders care about relationships without letting results slip. Leaders are followed because they are loved and commanders because, well, it’s an order.

Groom your leaders so that their people want to be a part of their team and yours, so that they stay on because they find support and safety, a key part in our hierarchy of needs.

3. Engagement happens when people work with collaborators, not colleagues.
It’s easy to throw an office party once every couple of months where everyone is happy and mingling. But come next week, we’re all back at our desk offering just a friendly nod to one another. We’re back to being colleagues.

How do your employees become better collaborators? When they recognize that they aren’t here to compete but to work together. You can encourage that by bringing in a human side to the workplace. Instead of office parties, start the work week with a meeting where everyone can talk about a non-work related success.

This can be anything from a parent making it through Saturday evening without her baby crying throughout the night, or someone hitting the gym for the first time in months – little or big things are worth celebrating and more importantly celebrated together.

This will help your employees see a human side of one another and they’ll be more likely to work together. This also helps build a family spirit in your organization where your employees feel like they’re part of each other’s lives and when you have an amazing family, who wants to leave?

4. Engagement happens when leaders lead with their hearts

Isn’t this the scariest part? Being afraid that emotions may portray us as ‘weak’ but it’s time we recognize that people respond to people. When you show care and concern, you will be met with the same. Think about the best people you have worked with. What was it about them that made it such a pleasure to work with them? It’s usually because of the way they made you feel, not about the work per se.

This is a rare trait in leaders and it’s something worth honing. You will more likely be able to retain the best of your people thanks to the openness and care you have shown to them even though they may have been offered a bigger pay-cheque elsewhere. The unique relationship they have built with you cannot be found elsewhere and that is how emotion is a powerful tool.

“Engagement is an emotional problem with business consequences.”

– Hugh Macleod, Gapingvoid


A Deeper Level Of Engagement
It’s time we move beyond the things on the surface that define engagement – a get-together, some feedback, Friday night beers or a sports club within the organisation and we’re all good. Those are really just the add-ons to what true engagement is.

At the core of it, you need to remember that engagement is an emotion and people can recognise when it’s genuine and when it’s not. You can’t cover it up. People will naturally engage when they feel something, when they care about something, and the best way to get your people to care, is to first care about them.

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