Variables of Engagement

Some of our fondest memories of childhood are the summer vacations – the visits to relatives or just general tourism. We were free to do what we like (well… almost free), no stress, lots of play and this play wasn’t just fun, there was a lot of discovering and inventing involved.

Fast-forward a few years and we are adults, working in an organization, still loving vacations as much as we did earlier. After all, vacations are synonymous with exploring, doing, walking, adventure, eating – in summary – a lot of stimulation to our senses. Our concentration levels, our energies, our connection with environment is at all time high.

Once back at workplace, everything is routine (and mostly a drag) again.

No, I don’t mean to blaspheme here; but that’s what some studies say, such as:

– Worldwide, only 13% of employees are “engaged” at work. – Gallup 2013
– The traditional definition of engagement — the willingness of employees to voluntarily expend extra effort — is no longer sufficient to fuel the highest levels of performance. – Towers Watson, Global Work Force Study in 2012

I would say that engagement is equal to stimulation of senses; when our natural faculties, such as Mental, Emotional, Physical and Spiritual (MEPS), are involved and throbbing.

It is safe to say – that an organization is no amusement park but a place to work and achieve exponential goals OR that it is ever difficult now to engage people due to rapidly advancing technology and sources of mind-distraction.

But if you look back at the reasons why we enjoy those vacations that not only pique our interest but also absorb us are that they are adventurous and exploratory. There is so much random learning involved and it’s all such fun – as long as you don’t feel looted by the locals of course!

So a few checks to ensure at work-place are:

– Have creative forums for learning – debates, play-sessions, role-plays, healthy-challenges etc

– Learn how to give and receive feedback – different strokes for different folks!

– Have regular, disciplined breaks – a power-nap after lunch is an accepted phenomenon now

– Avoid carrying work to home – mind gets baked with stress when cluttered and over-loaded

There could be many more ways; keep experimenting with MEPS!

Suggested Reading – World Wide Employee Engagement – by Gallup