One of the most widely-used yet misunderstood terms in the business world is “employee engagement.” While plenty of executives, team leaders, and consultants call upon this statement in their attempts to motivate, few actually use it correctly. That’s because most interpret it to mean working hard. While hard work is certainly found amongst the effective skills that successful teams of professionals share, it doesn’t equal employee engagement. Rather, the former is merely a byproduct of the latter.
To understand what employee engagement truly means, we have to take a closer look at the term itself. “Engaged” is defined as “having ones full mind, energy, and attention.” Herein lies the difference between an engaged employee and one that is simply hard-working. Whereas a hard-working employee can potentially only be partially-invested in that which he or she is doing, an engaged employee has his or her mind fully concentrated on the task at hand. This requires a certain level or “buy-in” into a company’s culture, which is not something that’s achieved easily.
Engaged employees require an equally engaged leader to guide them. That person has to convey through his or her leadership skills the importance of the work that each and every member of the team does, and why only the utmost effort on their part is acceptable. To do that, it helps if he or she can demonstrate the following qualities:
Every company has a vision that should drive every decision and action that it employs. Yet far too many allow the pressures of meeting their everyday job duties to keep them from stepping back and seeing how their particular roles benefit their companies as a whole. What’s needed is a boss or team leader that keeps members focused on the mission, vision, and values of their company, and how the work that they do supports that.
This may sound strange, but many people actually fear doing their job too well. That’s because they worry that should they create effective solutions for the problems they’re meant to address, they’ll be out of jobs. A good leader helps inspire trust in that no matter the results of his or her employees’ current work, they skills that they bring are in high demand and can easily be applied elsewhere in another way if needed.
This includes not only being empathetic towards employees, but towards corporate leadership, as well. Too often, the higher-ups are painted to be cold, calculated number cruncher that only care about results on paper. However, that’s rarely the case. Their concerns over those results are typically driven by their equal concern for their employees. Once subordinates are able to see that, the beginnings of a healthy company culture in which they are not afraid to fully invest themselves are born.
As we conduct analyses of the many businesses with whom we work here at Etech Global Services, we find that those that are the best at incorporating the skills and services that we introduce share the same attribute: a highly-engaged workforce. Having seen the tools and practices needed to create such an effective environment, we’re more than capable of sharing these with you. Together, we can help create a shared vision and commitment from the top to the bottom of your organization.