Who’s responsible for employee engagement?

I was always fascinated by the “chicken or the egg” theory discussion — was the chicken created first and then eggs followed or was an egg discovered and low and behold, chickens hatched? Over the years, as I periodically pondered this question, I began to see a correlation with workplace culture and employee engagement.

What are we doing?

Are we not hiring the right employees who are motivated and bringing their A game? Are employees initially engaged but become disillusioned over time or as a result of specific circumstances or behaviors exhibited by others? Does a workplace culture with solid values and a strong “we” mindset lay the foundation for consistent engagement? Or, is it not an either-or but instead, a set of behaviors, attitudes, actions and expectations on both the part of the employer and employees that strengthens or erodes the foundation for engagement? Hmmm.

My experience

During my 30+ years in business I have worked for companies that had developed and imbedded a solid foundation of values, support and expectations, and as an employee, I was proud to say I worked there. I have also worked for financially successful companies who did not have a consistent message of who they were and what they stood for. They were seen one way by the community (thanks to good marketing) and another way by employees. When that vision is not in alignment, employee engagement — or lack of it, begins to effect productivity and ownership. That erosion can be subtle and breed like a slow growing cancer or it can hit like a tsunami. Either way, the damage can be devastating if not addressed.

Explore what it takes

Over the next few weeks, I would like to explore those factors that have a direct impact on employee engagement — from both the employer and employee perspective and offer simple tools and techniques that everyone can use to improve engagement — simply by building a culture of excellence. Employers and employee — each have a responsibility and role to play. Let’s get this game started!

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