Following on from Gemma Reucroft’s Musings on Engagement No.2 http://hrgemblog.com/2014/01/14/musings-on-engagement-no-2-connections/comment-page-1/#comment-406
I believe there are a number of layers to engagement –
There’s engagement with the purpose of your organisation because you believe what it’s on this earth to achieve (beyond profit)
There’s engagement with the team you’re part of because you’re all connected in delivering something smaller that contributes to that overall purpose
There’s engagement with your line manager because they value you as an individual and have beliefs similar to your’s that you can make your own, so that you go that extra mile without even thinking about it.
[Incidentally, I believe a person’s connection at any of those levels of engagement can be broken by relatively small acts which they deem ‘wrong’, and can lead to resignations. But by far the most powerful connection, and therefore the most likely reason for people to leave, is a break in the connection with their line manager – and therefore this being the most critical engagement route to be maintained. We all know, of course, that people leave their boss, not the organisation.]
But, underpinning all of this, I strongly believe that comms plays a key role. With a significant caveat – if it’s approached in the same ‘Why, How, What’ Golden Circle way.
What’s being seen increasingly in work is the need to talk to people through internal communications about the ‘why’ if the business wants stuff to get done. Some of this might be Gen X starting to be more prevalent in the workforce, but part of it is also about people wanting to have a strong reason why in a world where there are a million conflicting priorities – the things they believe in most will get done. And actually a strong reason why is a critical determining factor of success if you speak to Andy Gilbert of GoMADThinking.
In addition, consistency of messaging in comms, continuously reinforcing the beliefs of the organisation, will maintain those connections to the overall purpose, and therefore continue engagement of employees with why they’re there. I don’t think it’s brainwashing…..!