One of the most frequently asked questions we get is, how do we truly get our employees really engaged?
“Employee Engagement” is the latest hot topic in management circles but the statistics show that we are not doing a very good job. According to a recent article by Bob Donovan of Chief Executive Magazine, “only about 29 percent of employees are fully engaged, while 19 percent are totally disengaged, which leaves over 50 percent with only average levels of engagement”, and “60 percent of all customers stop dealing with a company because of perceived indifference on the part of an employee”.
So with all the awareness around this very important topic and so much attention being paid to it by executives and the consultants that support them, why are we achieving such miserable results?
The reason is that we are, for the most part, blind to how to truly engage employees. The reason I say “blind” is that our traditional maps of how to address issues such as this do not include the Context field of energy, which is where the energy of engagement exists.
As I have said before, much of what we know about the Context Field will not come from our traditional management books or lessons from organization development. Most of what we know from these fields focuses on the Activity Field and the Relationship Field. For example, I have seen a number of engagement programs orient around employee involvement (Relationship) and even incentive plans (Activity).
But if we look at examples where there is a very high level of engagement we notice that these “techniques” are not anywhere to be found. Non-profits for example almost always have a very high level of engagement. In fact it is what they depend on for their very existence. The people who work for non-profits are mostly volunteers who clearly are not doing it for the incentive of “making a killing” some day. It is because they are personally connected to the mission of the organization, to the core of its being – The Soulful Purpose.
To truly get our employees engaged we must first get the connected with our Soulful Purpose. And to do that you must first have a clear understanding of what that is. And then we must enter into conversations with our employees at a Context Level, the level of the “felt sense of things”, on an individual level and on a group level about our Soulful Purpose, about the Meaning & Purpose of our work.
Engage employees at this level and you will see not only more engaged employees but results go through the roof.