Why Would You Wait to Improve Employee Engagement?

We all know what is feels like to be a member of a great  team. Even if you only experienced it for a short time, you know how fantastic it feels to have strong relationships at work, be stress free, confident, fulfilled, optimistic, and full of gratitude to be a member of a winner. When you feel like you are part of a great team your employee engagement is high.

So when you do not feel you are part of a great team, and employee engagement is low, why would not want to take actions to improve employee engagement? So many say, “we are already doing something” while experiencing high unplanned absences, low customer satisfaction, high resistance to change and high levels of conflict and mistrust.  Okay, maybe those people are just insane…doing something that’s not working but expecting a different result.

I don’t want to spend time on those people. I want to share with you a recent exchange with a leader in an organization considering membership to the Beyond Morale Employee Engagement System. I could set this up but I think it’s best to share with you an email I received the other day:

Jim,

Mike Smith and I were having a conversation about some upcoming changes in our organization that will be occurring within the next month or so. Our department is currently conducting a selection process for a new Director. Pending the outcome of that process, Mike may or may not be moved to another department.

Another issue that has come up is one of the team members will be gone the entire month of September. We want him to be involved in the process because he is a part of the team and his participation is key.

We would not feasibly be able to start the program until the first of October. Knowing that, do you still want to have the familiarization meeting tomorrow or should we reschedule for a date that will be closer to the start date?

Thanks,

Ed

Once I received this email, I began to think about a memorable quote from the movie Ku Fu Panda. I have never seen the movie, but I had heard it 30 or more times. You may think I am visually impaired, but the truth is I have 3 kids and they watch movies in the back seat while I am driving. There are several movies I know dialog to but have never seen. Just one of the many joys of fatherhood. Anyway, the quote goes something like this: Yesterday is history, Tomorrow is a mystery, Today is a gift that’s why they call it the present.

So I replied to Ed’s email with the following:

Ed, 

I understand your thinking, and have to mention that these are not unique to you. The system is setup to accommodate changes in personnel. In addition, team members come and go, take leave, vacation, long-term disability, FMLA, etc. These are also the dynamics that need the diagnostics in the Beyond Morale program. Tomorrow will always be a mystery, let’s take care of today.

We can discuss this tomorrow during our meeting time.

Regards,

Jim

What was the outcome? While I would like to think my response made a difference in them moving forward with starting their Beyond Morale program, because they did not delay their program start, I am not 100% certain. What I am certain in is what people are saying about the current times being the new normal. The days of long-term stability are over. Instability is the new constant. If you let uncertainty control your decisions (and indecision), than you will never achieve more than the average. I am also certain about the quote, “Those that are Great don’t sit and wait.”

Extraordinary teams with high employee engagement take the right actions to build stronger relationships. They know things will change and they create an environment that embraces new team members and wishes outgoing members the best.

This also reminds me of something I was told about waiting for the right time to have kids. They said, “If you wait for the right time to have kids, then you will never have any.”

So if you want higher levels of employee engagement, don’t sit and wait. If you do the mysteries of tomorrow could very well be more like horror stories.

5 Responses to Why Would You Wait to Improve Employee Engagement?

  • Jim – GREAT story and so very true. Don’t wait -Make a difference TODAY!

  • I certainly agree, Jim. I HAVE been a part of several engaged organizations and the feeling of motivation is unmatched. When I see people who are not engaged I ask them “why not?” The answer is often that they have NEVER been part of an engaged team and have more faith in the tooth fairy than they do their own leadership team.

    Employee Engagement does not have to be difficult. It starts with getting engaged yourself.

    Dave

  • Great article.

    I think that Ed’s reaction speaks to the fact that many managers don’t truly see the value of employee engagement. The good intentions are there of course, but the whole concept of engaging staff as an organizational goal is relatively new. You are right; the time is now. “If not now, when”?

  • Great article and good point – do it now. I always love the Kung Fu Panda quote as well 🙂

  • I do agree with Jon…

    Super article..Employee Engagement is the key factor and need to be well balanced with the work.

    Company Productivity depends more on Employee Engagement..

    Great share…

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