In an article by Michael Beck the question ‘Who’s Actually Responsible For Engagement, Anyway?’ was asked.
At first, it might seem like a pretty straightforward answer. After all, if a company wants employees more engaged, isn’t it the company’s responsibility?
The article goes on to state, on one hand, every organisation ought to strive to have an engaged workforce. Recent studies by Gallup and HBR have once again highlighted the correlation between profitability and engagement. Engagement is supported by good leadership and a positive culture, but as we’ve seen, levels of engagement haven’t changed much over the last 10 years.
People become less and less enthused when leaders are dismissive, don’t show respect and/or lack integrity. It’s human nature to become disenchanted with someone we don’t respect and trust. So from that perspective, it’s up to the organisation to keep disengagement from occurring.
A dysfunctional culture has a similar effect on engagement. A culture that doesn’t provide a supportive environment causes people’s enthusiasm to wane. Culture is defined by the values and behaviours tolerated by an organisation. You might argue that it’s up to the leaders to model that – which is true. But a good leader here and there only makes a difference to those they directly impact.
A company’s culture is created by the values and behaviours demonstrated across the majority of the organisation. In other words, a significant majority of the leaders must be living the values and behaviours to make it a culture. In the end, it’s up to each of us
Not long ago, I worked with someone who had been promoted into an executive position. He was technically competent, but hadn’t been groomed as a leader. He knew he didn’t have the leadership skills he needed, but he waited for the company to help him get training and coaching. He never took personal responsibility for his own success. He never asked for help nor did he take it upon himself to seek it out. Ultimately, the damage he caused within his department was so great that the company had to let him go. (I worked with him to find a new position.)
The bottom line is that being engaged is everyone’s responsibility. Each party must do its share in making the workplace and the work better.
Michael Beck is an Executive Strategist who specializes in employee engagement, executive development, and leadership effectiveness. Connect with him on LinkedIn, or, at his website at MichaelJBeck.com.
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