Adventures in Engagement
By Dan Brown – Chief Strategic Relationship Officer
As a younger man, I spent a year acting with the Royal Shakespeare Company. While there, I heard a story about Richard Harris, the two times Oscar-nominated, hell-raising Irish actor.
In 1967 he played King Arthur in the movie musical, Camelot. Over the next 15 years, every time Harris needed cash— he excelled at earning and losing fortunes—he’d take Camelot on tour, as the star and producer.
On the first morning of rehearsal, Harris would gather the assembled troupe together and say:
“For the next 6 months, I’m going to lead every person in this room to greatness. From this moment on, we’re a family. Family support each other, love one another. We’ll create an environment in which each of us will give nothing less than the best performance of our lives each night. We’ll touch hearts, make each audience laugh and cry. We’ll create memories for them that will last a lifetime. Let’s not settle for anything less. Who’s with me?”
Long before there was a term for it, he understood the importance of employee engagement.
Employee engagement is more conservatively described as “creating conditions that allow your employees to give their best each day, committed to your mission and values, motivated to contribute, clear on their role and the value they bring.”
As organizations march towards automation, it’s increasingly difficult to communicate culture and values to employees. To help them build satisfying relationships and infuse them with purpose. To create engagement.
But the results are in and engagement is a big deal and you need to get good at it. I’d argue that primarily you have a moral duty to do so, but it’s also smart business.
We spend 1/3 of our waking hours at work. As an employer, it should be considered both a privilege and a responsibility to create an environment that provides a platform for good and rewarding work. To communicate a sense of mission and a purpose for the work that is meaningful. When we feel our lives have meaning, we’re inspired. Without meaning? Well, everything sort of starts to suck.
Some stats to get us rolling… Companies with engaged employees are 20% more productive. They’re 21% more profitable. Engaged employees create 26% higher revenue and generate an average of 13% higher shareholder returns.
Inspiring your people while delivering business results is a no-brainer, but 70% of employees self-report as disengaged. So there’s plenty of room for improvement.
In fact, the data suggests that while most organizations do a good job of wooing folks during the interview process, they could do much more to drive engagement from the moment a candidate accepts a job offer.
Ask yourself… When a new hire joins the team, are you inspiring them with your culture? Are they proud to tell their family about your organization? Do you communicate how valued they are, how important their work is to your shared goals? Are you helping build their network, fast-tracking friendships, and creating opportunities to learn and grow?
My First Year puts culture, engagement and purpose at the center of your new hire and ongoing development process. I’d love to tell you more about it.
Oh, and if we do meet, ask me about what else Richard Harris would get up to just before he gave his first day of reheasal speech. Not appropriate here. I’ll save that for a Compliance article!
By Dan Brown
Chief Strategic Relationship Officer