Recently, I heeded the advice of so many to start your day off by being inspired by someone you know or want to know better. I met for an early, pre-dawn coffee with fellow HR professional and consultant Lisa Stouffer. Meeting with Lisa did inspire me – a wonderful way to start your day. Why – first off Lisa is awesome, but just as importantly, “engagement” sets the tone for the entire day.
The most important question regarding “engagement” seems to revolve around “how do we create that in our work environments and make a staple within our cultures?” The term engagement is overused to the point where I must admit when I see it in an article title, I find myself doing the opposite and tuning out right away.
As Lisa and I explored our experience and the business landscape in our world here in the Midwest, I had a thought – a mini-epiphany if you will. What if we thought about engagement in a different way – as “connectivity?” In the end, isn’t connectivity really where engagement begins? Think about the strongest, most meaningful relationships in your life and why they are just that to you – it is the connectivity you have with that person that makes it so, isn’t it? So why wouldn’t that be the way to reaching your employees?
Do your employees know what your company does – I mean really know. Have they toured the shop floor, taken a walk through a department like creative or marketing/sales, or have a deep knowledge of what your company’s ‘widget’ is and how, if it’s not obvious, it’s relevant to the marketplace?
For me, one of the reasons I love what I do is the unique opportunity to work in as many industry verticals that will employ me, and I have. The fun part is learning about what ‘we’ do, how we do it, who are our competitors. Then I would go home and tell the stories.
I worked at an organization years ago that effectively required internal training courses on the company’s business to share company business with employees. While it may have seemed like a pain, these sessions really connected me to the overall business.
When a company connects, by sharing the mission, vision, what you do, how you do it, what differentiates your company, it connects employees to the company. By making employees feel connected to something bigger than themselves, it will increase retention and of course make your organization a destination spot for top talent.
When I visualize that, it looks a lot like connect dots to me and makes me feel, well, yeah, connected.