Engagement 1.0
by Josh Allan Dykstra on February 22nd, 2011
Posted in Leadership, Engagement
Engagement is a trendy business buzzword these days, and it sounds pretty fancy. But the way engagement looks isn't very complicated at all.

It's easy to tell if an employee is engaged. They miss work less, quit organizations less, create safer workplaces, and produce higher quality work. Overall, they are simply happier and more passionate about what they do, which translates directly into better results for the whole company in all sorts of tangible and intangible ways.

But if engagement is so easy to spot, why don't we see more of it? The latest figures state that at least two-thirds of the US population is not engaged in their job! This is a disturbing fact for a couple of reasons.

First, disengaged employees negatively affect a company in the opposite direction of the above positive laundry list. A lack of passion on the job creates more sick days, more turnover, more accidents, and lower quality work.

Yes, lost productivity is quite alarming. But the the loss of personal satisfaction is just as frightening, if not more so. Why? Because work never affects us just while we're inside our cubicle--it always spills over into the rest of our lives.

Besides, we spend far too much time in our companies--a third of our life!--to hate what we do.

The research is clear--engagement positively impacts profits. But the tricky thing about engaging employees is that it will never matter until we change the way we think about work. As long as people are thought of like machine parts, identical and replaceable, all the research in the world won't make a difference.

Fortunately, the tides are turning and a work revolution is coming. There is evidence sprouting everywhere of an emerging mentality that truly cares about the things our former bosses ignored. The future marketplace will resonate with the pulse of meaningful work, and at the core of this is a heart of engagement.


P.S. Why the bridge picture? Because the process of engagement is all about connecting. Engagement happens when a manager takes a personal interest in each person that reports to them. They help bridge the gap for each person, connecting their position, whatever it may be, to a larger sense of meaning and impact.

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