Engaging with Engagement

Welcome, both to you and to me. Today marks the beginning of a new phase of my life. This is the first entry into this dialogue that I plan to host, and I am more than excited. I am by trade and experience what would traditionally be called a consultant. Personally, I have never felt that name suited, I see myself as more of a catalyst. But that gets funny looks when you put it on a business card.

Engagement is my game. More accurately, "THE HEART of ENGAGEMENT", which for me is less about knowing something for certain and more about establishing a dialogue. The point is to be continually searching for, and then asking the questions that concern what it takes to create and sustain a working environment that fosters engagement. I believe the the power to get things done organizationally, and to produce results, is a function of engagement and engagement alone. A claim like this deserves some further dialogue and maybe even some evidence along the way. My intention with these posts is to provide just that; and I sincerely hope that you will add to the conversation as we go along.

First perhaps a little definition. These days the word engagement gets tossed around so much you’d think we were talking about empowerment!  In a short time, the word has almost become meaningless or so broadly defined, as to have no power when used. I prefer a definition I found in my Webster’s several years back; association by choice.  So whatever factors you choose to use to define engagement, you are welcome to. My frame of reference will always be seeking the factors that contribute to working environments and working relationships that are characterized as associations by choice.  There are many questions such as:

  • What has an employee make the initial choice to join a particular workplace?
  • How does a company’s leadership demonstrate continuously that it has chosen an employee?
  • How does an employee know that their employer has really chosen them for the long haul?
  • How does a company behave that has an authentic belief that its’ employees are really its’ capabilities?

You are certainly welcome to use your own criteria for defining engagement, and to share that with me as well. I’d welcome that opportunity, but be mindful this is not a debate. So, don’t send me a "better definition" as I plan to continue using mine. 

My attention is on distinguishing and managing the factors, aspects, dimensions, whatever, that end up with people being and working somewhere as a matter of choice – and staying in that place for only so long as that is true.

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