Engagement at work; what does it mean and is it important? My definition is that it is a commitment to invest time in accomplishing something that is meaningful and important to me. It involves expenditure of energy, time and emotional commitment to a cause or issue that matters deeply to your values and purpose in life. Does the work you do get your juices flowing?
What do surveys mean when they try to measure engagement? After seeing the 2013 Gallup State of the Global Workplace Report that only 13% of employees worldwide are engaged in their work. I wondered what that means in regard to employee satisfaction, recruiting and retention of talent in the workplace. Another study the 2014 Deloitte Human Capital Trends research shows that 78% of business leaders rate retention and engagement as important issues to solve in the coming year. These trends by the way have remained essentially unchanged for a decade. So this raises the question of whether the concept of engagement matters when it comes to managing and developing a positive and effective workplace culture that ultimately impacts the “bottom line” of productivity, profitability and of successful companies. Or does this struggle to measure engagement a windmill that matters but we don’t know how to define it and track its impact on “quality of worklife” and organizational success.
So that led to ask what does engagement really mean to people—commitment, loyalty, max effort, doing your best…or does it mean a willingness to put-in discretionary effort… to go the extra mile… or give 110%.
Challenge: Reflect on what engagement means to you. In the next 24 hours pick an engagement activity to try out at work tomorrow.
What is the new behavior you are going to try out? What were the effects you experienced in trying out this new behavior?
Daily Quote: ”
“No matter how far life pushes you down, no matter how much you hurt, you can always bounce back. – Sheryl Swoopes
Never Never…Give-up” Steve Jobs
Reflection: In order to live a less stressful and more productive life we need to take control of our negative self-talk by monitoring our thinking and emotions. We can put ourselves more in control of these “inner demons” by eliminating words that trigger negativity. You ask what are these words well the ones I struggle with are the “shoulds…have to’s… that I tell myself. By being more attuned to these inner triggers you can replace them and focused on things we Want to do…in doing this you are ” playing to win” in life rather than just “sleep walking” or being “stuck” in your daily routines and activities.
What is it that motivates or drives us to do what we do? We tend to give more thought to our grocery list or shopping trips to the mall than we do to these important questions—of why we do what we do. Seldom do we reflect on what is the generating force behind our daily living itself—what fuels our movement toward personal development and growth?
Some might think this question is too obvious to be worth asking. Others might think it a silly topic or too deep to worry about. Perhaps it is all three of these things. In any case, it is not an easy topic, but I know of no other one that is more important because we all have to make choices and decisions that shape who we are and our quality of life. I believe that making choices is the core driver for creating a meaningful and fulfilling life. It is often said that “where there is a choice, there are consequences.” And yet most of us spend most of our time reacting to what comes at us and very little time trying to understand the consequences of our choices and the why we do what we do.
“ Unfortunately, some people will genuinely be harmed by change, particularly those who benefit strongly from the status quo. Others may take a long time to recognize the benefits that change brings. You need to foresee and manage these situations.” Kurt Lewin, 1939
Sometimes, as I look at the poorly planned approach of the White House and Congress attempts to lead us out of these difficult times I wonder if any of our leader’s have studied or learned about the how to institute and manage the process of successful change projects. Or are they just flying by the intuitive “seat of their pants” which guarantees a longer period for adjustment and acceptance of change initiatives and more suffering when changing large system like Health Care, Deficit Reduction and job creation programs.
So I am going to provide one straightforward and simple model developed by Dr. Kurt Lewin,who has been called the founding father of Organizational Development and Change Management for their edification and use.
Lewin’s Model for Understanding the Processes of Organizational Development and Change
One of the cornerstone models for understanding organizational change was developed by Kurt Lewin back in the 1940s, and still holds true today. His model is known as the three-step process for change–Unfreeze – Change – Refreeze. Lewin used a clear, concise and compelling analogy for explaining the change process by describing the simple process of changing the shape of a block of ice into the shape of a cone.
Block of Ice Analogy for understanding Change Process
If you have a large cube of ice, but realize that what you want is a cone of ice, what do you do? First you must melt the ice to make it amenable to change (unfreeze). Then you must mold the iced water into the shape you want (change). Finally, you must solidify the new shape (refreeze).
By looking at change as process with distinct stages, you can prepare yourself for what is coming and make a plan to manage the transition – looking before you leap, so to speak. All too often, people go into change blindly, causing much unnecessary turmoil and chaos.