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How to Get Dis-Engaged Employees More Engaged

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This is what every CEO should be asking, but too few do. A few thoughts based on working with organizations to improve engagement.

  1. The default position of most human beings is to be engaged (connected, felt sense of safety in a group). We are, in fact, hard-wired at a neurological level to have safe and secure connections.
  2. Increasing engagement is less about spending more money (it isn’t expensive), it is about focus, consistency, and follow-through.
  3. The work environment in many/most organizations (primarily culture and managers) actually suppress natural engagement. The key here is to find the most harmful practices (or lack of them – such as with too infrequent recognition and feedback) and fix them immediately.
  4. Engagement is less cognitive and more emotional. We have to remember that the true lasting value of the tactical things we do (workshops, team meetings, recognition, etc.) lies in the residual “felt experience” of the employees. That experience, as it relates to the emotional centers of our brain, is what will determine most of the improved (engaged) behaviors on a daily basis. We don’t become engaged at an intellectual level without a congruent emotional experience. That’s why, for example, rituals of celebration are one easy path to increasing engagement.
  5. There is also no question that hiring the right folks in the first place, and continuing to hire the best (because they do inspire others) is essential. You can’t do that reliably based on the traditional interview process. That process is broken. You have to assess new hires using psychoanalytical tools that will inform you on the key issue — not capabilities — “fit.”

To view the entire LinkedIn blog conversation, click here.

BEST PRACTICES TIP:  The key goal is to create a workplace where employees love coming to work.  When they do, they are more willing and able to overlook and endure the inevitable bumps in the road, and they are less focused on compensation.  Both of those benefits would be a major improvement for most organizations.

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