Beyond Employee Engagement – What is needed?

So what is needed to bring this significant evolution step forward and to move beyond engagement. Most important is the amount of courage it takes to embrace change and uncertainty. The predictability of certainty is a natural human trait – it is not that we don’t like change, it is that we don’t like to be changed when we don’t feel that we are consciously making the choices that lead us into that direction.  We have to be courageous enough to know it is not about being right, it is getting to the truth about what is going on and what is moving us forward.  So don’t minimize the courage that it takes to do that – like summiting a large mountain.

Risk mitigation happens by beginning to challenge what is value-added and non-value-added effort to the overall processes that net the profit in the company.

Participative management, which was having employees participate with management in decisions.  Collaborative is next level like beyond engagement – it happens in authentic community where people can express their uniqueness,  it is acknowledged and they are held accountable for it. Evidence suggests that workers are growing increasingly cynical because leaders too often say one thing and do another. What is most antithetical to engagement is unconscious compliance – we can’t afford the luxury of an extrinsically motivated organization. Only 31% are actively engaged, which means 70% of your workforce are not engaged or are actively unengaged, meaning that they are extrinsically motivated.  There is your ROI – to move people out of un-engagement to engagement to deeper levels of engagement, netting tremendous ROI for this work.

People naturally want to hold themselves accountable for their growth and to be responsible to others for how they deliver on that uniqueness in the workplace – and that is where innovation comes from.  We transfer responsibility to the individual to evolve their career.  You will never have 100% intrinsically motivated workforce until people are managing their own career and are not stuck in the habituation of the annual performance review on a weighting value, bell curve, or totem – or something outside of them that is continuously evaluating them.  They need to be self-referential such that every day they are evaluating their performance and getting feedback on that.

First step is to inspire then create the structure to evolve motivation.  It is well known that structure and environment drive behavior. Studies around neuroscience – Dan Siegel’s work around neurobiology and how people respond to their environment – through plasticity in the brain they form a brain that adapts to the environment and their relationships in it.  So it is important that you look at your environment, whether people feel safe, whether they can express themselves in it, take accountability for themselves. We are beginning to explore new ways to create agile and nimble environment and structure.

Technology is accelerated – computing power doubles every 18 months – it will be so embedded in peoples lives that their humanity will walk alongside technology.  Twitter, Facebook, and all these other rapid technologies – people feel they are alone together. They want  deeper relationships and higher quality relationships and 140 characters will not determine the depth of the relationship. So as more technology gets embedded into people’s reality, they will want to evolve their humanity beyond that process – that is a parallel activity to moving beyond engagement.

And, it is no surprise when I share with you about the role of coaching in beyond engagement, because coaching brings in personal connection, it uses technology, and blends in humanity – this is what coaching does.


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