LONDON — Everyone seems to be interested in this. It’s a code word for lots of different things. In today’s economy some are using it as a way of saying “how do we make people like the business when so many bad things have happened?” Others want to find a way of helping people focus on what really matters. Others aren’t sure, but it sounds good.
We have a view. It’s one that may sound odd at first, but maybe it will more sense after further thought.
Engagement is not a programme. It’s not something you can package and roll out. It’s not something you can seek to build centrally.
Engagement is a state of mind. It is something personal that you feel… or you don’t.
Because we are all quite different as people we respond to things differently. Some of us really get excited by making great discoveries. Some of us love our sums to add up. Some people like to work with and care for other people. Some of us love the money… and just the money.
So the real drivers of engagement in a business are not the senior leaders. It’s not the HR department or the communications team. It is not the employees either. We think it is the line manager.
The line manager — when properly skilled — can make the business work for each individuals goals. And therefore make each individual work for the businesses goals. (More often than not, unfortunately, the managers don’t have the skills to do this because the business hasn’t given them to them, which is a whole other article.)
Because we don’t have a vested interested in selling any particular ‘engagement’ product –- we can independently advise and critique current engagement activities with a focus on return on investment.
And we think that’s the cleanest and most effective way to do it.