Insight into why an individual may be or become engaged or disengaged is an invaluable resource.
Let’s reflect on what we already know. In Part 2 we looked at the distribution of engagement responsibilities across different organisational roles. First and foremost, employee engagement is as much the responsibility of the employee as it is their manager or the organisation that employs them. To be able to own their own engagement effectively, however, they will require encouragement, support and reciprocation from you.
In Part 3 we looked at taking ownership of your ownengagement as a manager. If you’ve spent time reflecting on this, you’llunderstand what kind of support will benefit the individuals in your team.
Why individual engagement is important
It’seasy to think of employee engagement as something that manifests at team level and above. After all, that’s usually how survey results are reported and engagement strategies developed.
However, when it comes to managing and improving employee engagement, a generic approach can achieve very little or even backfire. The most effective strategies recognise that employee engagement is most easily won – and lost – at the individual level, and that the most efficient way to approach this is action at the team level, led by you, the manager.
Just as optimum physical performance requires all the right parts in all the right places, behaving and functioning the right way, so optimum team engagement requires all team members to be adequately engaged in their own right. Higher team engagement cannot compensate for low individual engagement indefinitely. This becomes more important where tasks are delegated and delivered individually, rather than shared by the team.
Factors affecting individual engagement from within
We are, each of us, psychologically complex. Everything we experience and do is influenced by how we think, feel and behave – consciously and unconsciously
How we experience ‘work’ – how we feel about it and how we respond – is no different.
Don’t worry, we’re not suggesting that engaging managers train as occupational psychologists, but it is our recommendation that you develop a more robust awareness of what makes your people tick. Improving your insight into what may prompt someone to respond with engagement or disengagement can help you better understand how to support them and do so more easily.
Bear in mind that whilst your team will be made up of different ‘fixed’ personality types, behaviour can be adjusted over time. As managers, we can place our team members into boxes, but even the most cynical employee can become more positive if managed appropriately.
Rather than wading through all levels of detail concerning the human psyche, employment and the workplace, in the diagram below we’ve listed the aspects we consider the most relevant, with links to further information where applicable.