Your Engagement Benchmark

Time Magazine article, The Rage to Engage, says that “Engagement is an amorphous concept, but as anyone who ever worked on a team can tell you, it’s critical—the unengaged undermine—even if it’s tough to pin down.”

At the end of a recent “Blue Belt Top Talent” program we gathered with the management team for lunch. People exchanged impressions about their experience and learning and there was a lively feeling around. One of the participants stood up to tell the executives how much she valued the opportunity and what she learned through the program. She concluded by saying: “It is very inspiring to know that the organization in which I make a living is so committed to ensuring that I make a life.”

In a few short days we created a community of purpose, wherein people were energized and committed to act on their values in life and at work. The theory we have been successfully testing for many years with very consistent feedback is that reclaiming our humanness in the work place is good for business; that happier and healthier teams are more resilient and agile, faster to adapt to change and more effective in delivering on goals.  We continue to hear from participants, years after they complete the program, that it feels different to go to work and meet their colleagues, that they are more engaged.

Here are 15 points you can use to assess your own engagement and the engagement of your team. You can evaluate these 15 points to identify strengths and opportunity gaps in the Anatomy of Engagement as it applies to your team. Ask them to grade each of the 15 statements below on the scale from (1) to (10) — (10) representing “very much so” or “always” and (1) representing – “hardly” or “never”.

1. I enjoy open communication with my manager
2. I have a clear understanding of objectives – I know what success looks like
3. My activities are organized to support and deliver on the objectives
4. I see how my work helps the organizational strategy
5. We create trusting relationships at work
6. My job offers me opportunities to express my talent
7. There are great role models in our organization that I try to emulate
8. I am evaluated on how well I deliver on the objectives
9. I am incentivized to deliver great results
10. My job provides me opportunity to grow and learn new skills
11. I have the tools I need to support my work
12. I receive feedback on how my efforts and performance help the company achieve success
13. I value my team members and their individual contributions to our work
14. I am proud of the work we do and how we make the world a better place
15. I enjoy and get energized when I see the people I work with

Ask your team to respond to these statements. You can then discuss this engagement anatomy profile with each person independently or with the team as a whole if appropriate. Here are a few questions you can use to get the debriefing conversation going:
1. Which of the points above got the highest score? What can we learn from these?
2. Where are the lowest scores? What can we learn from these items?
3. What are the differences in how we see our organization and how can we bridge the engagement gaps?
4. What opportunities do we have to improve and cultivate an even greater engagement?
5. What other new ideas can we think about to help strengthen our own engagement as well as the engagement of other stakeholders?
6. If we focus and take one or two things into action – which will have the most impact?

© Aviv Shahar

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