I appreciate a good analogy, especially when it comes to terms that can be defined in multiple ways. Employee engagement and alignment are a good example. Here’s a brilliant analogy from a local business journal:
A house is only as strong as its foundation. A solid foundation gives the house a firm base allowing for less structural issues over time. This is also true for an organization. A strong foundation allows the organization to maintain an un-fractured workplace where individuals, who make up this foundation, reduce cracks in communication, relationships, and help keep the focus on the goals of the organization. An un-fractured workplace impacts employee engagement, corporate culture, and even the bottom line. The challenge most organizations face when building their behavioral organizational foundation is creating an intentional plan for how to strengthen the human supports of their structure. Rules of engagement can add that extra support, like rebar added to concrete when creating the base of a house
Now you can understand why employee engagement is not an airy-fairy, feel-good concept that HR is trying to foist upon you, but an essential part of business and something that you are – or should be – doing as an integral part of leading your organisation. This is where engagement and success come together. Without employee engagement your success will always be limited.
Leaders often find themselves getting lost within the growing demands of the workplace and losing sight of what matters most to their employees. As such, they fail to realize the negative repercussions that the lack of strategic focus can have on their ability to deepen relationships with employees, which is important to understanding their specific needs for success. As a consequence, employees begin to lose trust in leaders that they perceive as self-absorbed, complacent and only concerned about their own well-being – rather than interested in advancing the people they are responsible for leading.
Employees always appreciate a boss who is willing to listen.
This applies both in the “real” world, and in the virtual world where the remote working relationship exists. Employees don’t like being treated like anonymous statistics hired to simply carry out tasks.
By David Lee and Jacob Schneid Despite millions of words written and millions of dollars spent on improving employee engagement, the needle has barely budged over the years. From Gallup’s State of the American Workplace: While the state of the U.S.
We are at a global tipping point, where the significant risk and costs of dis-trust (disengaged trust) are increasingly being exposed and experienced across a range of industries and professions. What is of major concern however, is that much of the current identification and management of the risk and costs associated with dis-trust, are reactionary. In other words, the catalyst is often some level of ‘negative exposure’ occurring, which forces the hand of executive leaders to take some kind of reactionary and corrective action.
The world is in desperate need for a new kind of leadership. The type of leadership we’ve seen the last several decades has produced record low levels of trust and engagement in the workforce, so clearly what we’ve been doing isn’t working. We need a leadership philosophy grounded in the knowledge and belief that the most successful leaders and organizations are those that place an emphasis on leading with trust.