You say your employees are not engaged. They don’t attend events, and they do not contribute during meetings or gatherings. They clock in, clock out, and that is where their participation ends. You have tried mandating, incentivizing, and have sent dozens of emails. Nothing is working, there is no light at the end of the tunnel, you just have to accept that it is what it is…
OR could there be another question that needs to be asked?
Have you… taken a nice long look at yourself in the mirror and asked: “What role am I playing in creating and fostering engagement?”
Often times managers look to their employees and place the blame of disengagement on the employee’s laziness or disinterest. However, a key lens that often is not explored is that of seeing one’s self (the manager) as a possible inhibitor.
So, what do I do now?
The first step is admitting you have a problem… Only kidding. The first step is being open to the idea that perhaps it is time for you, the manager, to seek some coaching or development opportunities. The bright side of engagement is that there is a plethora of resources available to you. These opportunities can not only improve your ability to promote employee engagement but can help you to become a more effective manager and/or leader.
Here are two questions to ask yourself and challenges to try:
Am I creating an environment and promoting a culture where my employees can feel comfortable sharing their questions and concerns without the fear of repercussions?
Am I communicating clearly to my employees…
- the value of their contributions and ideas
- clearly established expectations of their role responsibilities and organizational contributions
- the impact that they as an individual have on the organizational culture and opportunity for success
While the list may appear lean, it is a manageable start, and each question and challenge encourages a variety of activities and conversations. By being open and initiating the process of self-exploration and development, you will find that those around you will take notice and will want to explore and develop as well.
Bringing it Home
The two greatest investments a manager can make are in their personal growth/development and in the growth/development of the individuals they are surrounding themselves with. Engagement encourages productivity, accuracy, and investment in the work that is being done. Through holding yourself accountable for the role you are playing in employee engagement, you have now equipped yourself to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
- Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner “The Leadership Challenge”
- Kevin Kruse “What Is Employee Engagement”
- William A. Kahn “Psychological Conditions of Personal Engagement and Disengagement at Work”