The Missing Link To Fostering Employee Engagement
It seems every couple of months there’s a new study demonstrating how the majority of employees are either neutrally or negatively engaged at work. While these studies don’t necessarily reflect a lack of interest by employers to address employee engagement, they are a continual reminder of how many of today’s organizations don’t seem to have a understanding of what their employees need to feel empowered in their roles.
Our sense of engagement in what we do is derived both from our level of competence – of how capable we feel in performing this role and function – and also from being able to know that what we do will make a difference beyond the short-term; that we can derive a sense of purpose and meaning because of what it helps us to create or contribute to in the future.
Therein lies the challenge for most organizations and their leaders. Certainly, there’s much focus on employee training as a means of encouraging engagement and rightly so, as this does help to build on our level of competence and consequently our ability to succeed in our efforts. What we’re missing from this equation, though, is answering the question of why these efforts matter beyond the short-term, beyond those quarterly reports.
Many of today’s organizations don’t seem to have a understanding of what their employees need to feel empowered in their roles
In other words, what kind of future are we trying to create or build through our shared efforts? Where do we hope or plan to end up as a result of the efforts we’re committing to push through today?
Research has proven time and again how we are driven over the long term not by prestige and money, but by those tasks which allow us to derive some sense of meaningful purpose in what we do. That meaning can’t be created over the span of a week, a month or even a year. Rather, it’s something that we take hold of in our near future; a goal or vision that we strive to attain because we feel confident in our collective abilities to reach it.
Of course, these goals can’t be easy; they have to challenge us and stretch our perception of what we’re capable of to keep us engaged and involved in the process. This is why leaders need to consistently communicate and show that they not only want their team to succeed in their efforts, but that they believe in their collective potential.
We are driven over the long term not by prestige and money, but by those tasks which allow us to derive some sense of meaningful purpose in what we do
It’s when we combine these elements of developing our competence and connecting it with where we want to be in the future that leaders can create not just an engaged workforce, but an environment where everyone can thrive and grow.
Connect Deeper with Tanveer
Tanveer Naseer is the Principal and Founder of Tanveer Naseer Leadership, a leadership coaching firm that works with managers and executives to help them develop leadership and team-building competencies to guide organizational growth and development, while ensuring they remain focused on what creates a fulfilling sense of purpose in what they do.. You can read more of his writings on leadership and workplace interactions on his award-winning blog at TanveerNaseer.com. You can also follow him on Twitter – @TanveerNaseer
Photo by Louise Jones