Employee Engagement & Leadership

Keeping people engaged
I came across this very interesting document on Employee Engagement

Obviously leadership has a big role to play in Employee engagement.

One crucial factor here is that in most cases employee engagement is perceived as an organisational problem to be sorted by fine tuning organisational systems.Sure, some fine tuning will help.

But, I feel a systemic response to employee engagement might not be the complete solution. Employee engagement has to come from the direct reaching out of the leadership to the employees. It is the leader who uses the organisational tools available to him to to engage the employee – heart and soul – get his complete buy in to the goals of the organisation.

What I would like to focus here is the fact that – employee engagement is at a much higher level than – say, “employee satisfaction”.

Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill had their countries engaged , the populace was behind them ready to fight , give their life if required. We would call that an example of outstanding leadership resulting in exceptional levels of engagement of the people. But, such high levels of engagement happened at times when the respective countries faced a threat to their very existence. These leaders took advantage of the prevailing confusion and provided exceptional leadership.

Whereas in our smooth functioning systems driven organisations there are no such dire threats to be faced. Only when the companies face a real dire situation does the need arise for drastic measures. In such peaceful situation when there are no major threats to once job, where the profits are flowing and the career curve is a smooth upward helix – how does one keep the employee completely engaged.

Bill Gates said it well –

“Your Business will fail unless you are running scared all the time.”

So does that mean – to have engaged employees the leader needs to continuously keep the threats in focus.


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