Ever find yourself asking this question? There are signs that you need to engage your team differently, which range from issues like high turnover of staff, frequent missing of deadlines or organisational apathy, low morale, conflict in the workplace or clock-watching. But what can you do about it?

The first thing to appreciate is that engagement is a two way street. People working for an organisation get to choose how engaged they are and there is very little than can be said or communicated to them that will sway them. The only way to have a positive impact on how engaged the people in your organisation or team feel is to alter what they experience at an authentic level. In other words you have to take a look at your organisation and think:

  • What are we doing that is leading to this result?
  • How much of that is in our control?
  • What can we do to change it?
  • How will we know when we have got it right?

Not easy questions to answer. That’s why the first step for many organisations is a planned approach to how they ask their employees how they are feeling that then results in real action to address problem areas.

In doing this it’s important to bear in mind that regardless of industry, company size or service offering, there are some core conditions that need to be met:

  • There needs to be congruence between what is said and done
  • The work needs to fulfil a purpose
  • People like to have some control over what they do and future direction
  • The atmosphere needs to be congenial and there should be an implicit assumption of positive intent

Once all of these things are in place then the reality of working in your organisation will change, leading to a change in how engaged everyone there is with it. The hard part is in understanding what to change to have the desired effect, and that is specific to each situation.

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