Engagement a critical factor for enduring productivity and competitive edge in today’s global economy. People are the key to organizational success, even more so than finance or marketing or leadership.
This is part 6 of a 7-part article series titled "Forget Motivation: It's Time to Engage".
First of all, engagement increasingly is seen as a critical factor for enduring productivity and competitive edge in today’s global economy. People are the key to organizational success, even more so than finance or marketing or leadership. There is not universal agreement on this, but let’s keep it as the starting point for the argument made here. Considerable research indicates that greater engagement, be it labeled employee involvement, commitment, or empowerment, is closely correlated with organizational productivity, growth, profitability, and adaptability. A high involvement workplace signifies organizational health with accompanying lower turnover and safety concerns. An engaged employee is more committed to their job, the organization, and its customers.
To reiterate the argument made earlier, engagement is something very different from motivation. The following chart highlights those differences:
Goal: Initiate/focus others’ activity Learning and increased skill, knowledge
Responsibility: Management Individual, grassroots, team
Activity: Planned, triggered Assumed, ongoing, continuous
Assumption: Human biological core Humans seek meaning, self realization
Control: Top down, subtle: “rewards” Worker (and group) self-determination
View of worker: Employee Partner
Philosophy: Reductionist, linear, atomistic Holistic, systemic, complex
A different leadership style is required: not a controlling, directing style, but a visionary, coaching, facilitator scrambling to keep up with the pack is the appropriate model. S/he will have benefit of the unleashed knowledge, experience, insight and commitment of the engaged portion of the organization seeking improvement and excellence.