Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I Care, Therefore I Engage.

At the Employee Engagement Network, many are trying to find the root cause of engagement.

Curiously, a lot of the contenders start with the letter "c" for some reason, including:

Content - Meaning the content of the job, the work itself. For my feeling of engagement, this is a must. I am all about the work first.

Customer - They are the reason for the work.

Conditions - Conditions covers a whole gamut of things from the temperature in the office to having the flexibility to work from home as needed. Conditions can keep me engaged, or cause disengagement.

Communication - Having a free and open channel. Knowing what's going on. Not being surprised.

Community - Being part of something, whether a team, an organization, a network, or a movement.

Consideration - Being treated with respect. Being treated like a professional.

Contribution - Having the opportunity to participate and give input. Feeling like my ideas count.

But are any of those the true root cause of engagement?

I think I've found it:

~ Caring. If I care, I'll engage.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, July 29, 2008

Saturday, July 26, 2008

To Life!

Yesterday virtual reality pioneer and teacher Dr. Randy Pausch died, finally succumbing to pancreatic cancer, and people the world over stopped for a few moments to mark his passing. Why? Because he stared Death in the face and he saluted Life. His "Last Lecture" at Carnegie Mellon had been a sensation on YouTube, a viral phenom, viewed by millions.

Pausch's last lecture was called "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams" wherein he shared his own dreams including floating in zero gravity, playing pro football, and becoming a Disney Imaginer.

What does it mean to live? For Pausch, living means pursuing your dreams.

What a wonderful lesson he has given us about the meaning of life.

What are your dreams?

Posted by Terrence Seamon, July 26, 2008

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Getting A Handle on Employee Engagement

So you have heard about "employee engagement" and that it is directly related to organizational performance. And you are wondering how to get a handle on it.

A good first step is measurement: figure out where you are right now with respect to engagement.

I recently attended Conference Board's Employee Engagement conference in New York and one of the speakers (a consultant with CB) talked about measuring EE. CB has been doing a global research study on EE. One of his points was that their study seems to suggest that there are just a few measures that really tell the story about where your employees are at.

Here is the short list of some of the factors most critical to EE:

- Relationship with one's immediate manager – Does the employee have a positive working relationship with his or her manager? (Note: This is a biggie!)

- Trust and integrity – Does the employee feel that the organization and its managers are honest and and 'walk the talk'?

- The job itself – Does the employee find the work fulfilling and stimulating day-to-day? (Note: Another biggie!)

- Line of sight - Does the employee see the connection between their own goals and performance and the company's goals and performance?

- Feedback – Does the employee get feedback about how their work contributes to the company's performance?

- Career Growth – Does the employee see a personal future for growth?

- Pride in Company – Does the employee feel good about being associated with the company?

- Co-workers – Does the employee feel accepted and included by their work team?

- Employee development – Does the employee feel that the company is serious about training and development?

Notice the repetition of the word "feel" in the above list? Engagement is all about feelings.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, July 12, 2008

Friday, July 11, 2008

Engaging People

Dr. Judith Bardwick was in New York the other day, for the second webcast based on her book One Foot Out The Door. Judy is passionate about getting management to wake up and start doing the right thing by employees. It's not about being nice, or even about making employees happy. It's about the direct connection between commitment and engagement AND business performance.

I also had the pleasure this week to speak with Michael T. Kanazawa, CEO of Dissero Partners and author of BIG Ideas to BIG Results. Mike is passionate about business transformation. And speed. And helping his clients learn the "secret sauce" (I love that expression) about getting results. (Hint: A key ingredient in the secret sauce is engaging employees!)

Passion. It's what engagement is about.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, July 11, 2008