Beyond Employee Engagement – Why?

So “Why Beyond Engagement”?  Many people today would be happy with if the workforce went to engagement, let alone going beyond engagement. What we need to do is to shift from words that people have become accustomed to and take it beyond into the “action in” getting to engagement.  Workers have been brought to exhaustion by “flavor of the month” or “fad surfing”. Now in late stage maturity, total quality management, re-engineering, and lean six sigma – all have brought benefit. Each one of these is an evolutionary step toward where we really want to go, which is inside the person.

We have seen the ROI of the quality movements.  What will take us to engagement and beyond will be the inner work of the individual – their inner uniqueness brought into their overall performance effectiveness, in a sustainable way.  We know from written literature that the soft stuff is really the hard stuff, and many people are not comfortable with that. People can get lost in doing their inner work – some people feel it is more about therapy than anything – when in fact it is about bringing forth your uniqueness, which will bring tremendous ROI in organizational lifecycle optimization – it is the health of the organization.

What is truly exciting, even with the turbulence going on within what some call the ‘age of profit’, is that we are turning to an age of prosperity which embeds profitability into it in a sustainable way so that we don’t have these radical spikes in profitability and employment profiles – moving to sustainability within organizations such that quality of life is moving to higher and higher evolutionary states.   The coming shift will literally redefine what work means to us – we will go from a job that I work to a purpose that I create – this is no minor shift.  It could take generations to occur – people aren’t going to look at their work the same way as they did before.  They will look at it as “I am not going to go do a job for someone in compliance”, they will be consciously aware and create their contribution in the world with a community of people that they want to learn and grow with – and will focus on the creativity through uniqueness and whole new levels of personal accountability – where people will be absolutely responsible for their own development and growth – we will give them the tools and technology to do that.  For almost 30 years we have said that people are responsible for their own careers – and yet we didn’t really know how to do that with the tools and technologies that were available back then. Today we have the tools and technologies that will allow them to do that.

The most recent movement is the strengths movement – and this is the first step we are talking about toward ‘beyond engagement’.

According to Blessing-White’s 2011 study: your entire workforce needs to be accountable for their piece of the ‘engagement equation’ every day. Individuals need to know what they want — and what the organization needs — and then take action to achieve both. Managers must understand each individual’s talents, interests and needs and then match those with the organization’s objectives — while at the same time creating personal, trusting relationships. Executives have to demonstrate consistency in words and actions, communicate a lot (and with a lot of depth), and align all business practices and behaviors throughout the organization to drive results and engagement.

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