A common complaint within the workplace these days is, “there is no communication around here. Nobody ever tells us what’s going on.” So everybody feels that it’s a communication problem. But on closer inspection we find that the problem is not a lack of messaging but rather a lack of engagement.
The workplace has become so politically correct, due to the diversity of the workforce, that in order not to offend many of us have become passive/aggressive. In other words it’s safer to ignore rather than engage. Because of this response the workforce misinterprets a desire not to offend, as offensive in that their read is that management does not engage because they do not care about the employees or worse yet management is hiding something from them.
Consequently living in this passive/aggressive world creates poor morale, a general malaise descends upon an employee’s work performance and rumors and gossip rule the day. This kind of behavior and response sets up an atmosphere of distrust which then leads to increased costs of supervision, the addition of more employees to get the job done because a general feeling of, “It’s not my job” prevails. So the cost of doing business rises higher than it needs to and the consumer feels that the product produced is substandard.
But there is an antidote to this problem and it’s easier than people think. It is actually quite simple in fact it’s called, “Engagement.” It is the ability to sincerely and repetitively engage your employees in a dialogue where you cover the issues of the day either in a group or individual situation depending on the subject matter. Engaged employees tend to be positive about their workplace, more productive in their actual work product and they also tend to do more than is expected hence for all these reasons the workplace is more profitable than the industry average.
Engagement though is not easy. To be effective it must be consistent, organized, and easy to understand in other words it must appeal to the employee as you explain what’s in it for them. It can’t have just a checklist feeling but rather the content, tone and outcome must be sincere, topical and informative. You have to work at it and spend the time necessary to be effective.
Engagement can be used effectively to educate, train, inform, motivate, discipline and praise. In fact it can be used in every communicative interaction if you want your workforce to be at the top of their game. It can be a happy time, a stressful time, an uncomfortable time but no matter what kind of time it is, even if it is difficult, remember that through conflict comes positive change.
So today, if you need to, start to retool your style to be, “Engaging,” as it will make your management life more productive, satisfying, and profitable and it just might get you that raise or promotion that you’ve been looking for. That’s what’s in it for you!!!