Yesterday I wrote a blog about engagement that apparently engaged some people. See what I did there? That was a literary device. Cool, huh?
Anyway, my essential point yesterday was that engagement is not an extrinsic activity: it is not something we “do” to people. It is, in my view, a function or outcome of two factors:
- one’s personal pride in their own work
- how clear and strong the link is between that work and the business mission
Now, all I meant was that both things had to exist for engagement to thrive. We’ve got to take pride in what we do and be able to see the direct line between our efforts and the goals or mission of the organization.
It was an observation intended to strip away the confusion and mumbo-jumbo we sometimes see associated with “engagement.”” I’ve long believed the plainer we speak the more we can connect with people and [thus] make things happen.
Apparently some readers thought I was over-simplifying the matter and/or putting down workers as not being engaged.
While not trying to defend myself let me remind you of Einstein’s maxim:
If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.
As to putting workers down nothing could be farther from the truth, yet, if you are not willing to actually do the work for which you are being paid, because you are not “engaged” you are by definition not a worker, and so I don’t really worry over you.
Engagement is mutual consent: it is not a Get Out of Jail Free card that absolves you from doing work because you don’t “feel it.” That would be what Dilbert’s pal Wally does, or, here in Austin, what we would call a slacker.
Work does not have to be drudgery or painful but yes, some days it will be hard. Hard just like exercising more is hard, or giving up cigarettes is hard. So hard some people won’t do it. But for those willing to trade sweat equity for results this level of “hard” is worth it.
And that’s engagement. Its hard, but worth it.
For when you find an organization whose mission and values align with yours you will in fact work harder than you ever have before. And you will love it. You will be engaged.
So we are not over-simplifying or putting anyone down. We are merely saying it takes both parties, employer and employee, to drive engagement. So stop waiting for someone to do it to you, and help us get this going in the right direction.
Are you engaged now?