Part 3: Choosing to Win
Enhanced Employee Engagement
Part 3: Choosing to Win
Choice is “an act of making a decision when faced with two or more possibilities.”
In order to make a choice, we need to recognize those possibilities… and then have the courage to act.
Winning at work and life and as an organization is a choice.
Too many of us are pressing through our life and careers unable see our possibilities, let alone figure out how to develop the courage to move toward a version that is different and better.
Leaders and organizations who are able to envision, offer, and align possibilities will be rewarded with better employee engagement and better outcomes.
Tragedies and Choices
It is tragic to me when individuals, especially leaders, and organizations don’t see possibilities.
It is even more tragic when they are stuck on a path leading to unwanted outcomes.
Being busy is often provided as an excuse. Being too busy is no longer a badge of honor, it’s a red flag. Leaders who are always too busy to lead may be misplaced.
“Being too busy is no longer a badge of honor, it’s a red flag. Leaders who are always too busy to lead may be misplaced.”
-Peter C. Atherton
We know work can be consuming and, in most cases, this leads to Emotional Intelligence loss.
On average, we lose self-awareness, self-management, social-awareness, and our relationship management abilities as we as we succeed and progress up the corporate ladder.
The graphic below is from Emotional Intelligence 2.0 (Drs. Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves) that I refer to in my book, Reversing Burnout. How to Immediately Engage Top Talent and Grow! A Blueprint for Professionals and Business Owners.
I still vividly remember the day Dr. Bradberry showed this graphic at a leadership conference in Chicago. It was then, in 2016, I instantly understood what had happened to me.
We know too much about Emotional Intelligence loss, and the problems that result from being too busy, too consumed, and too narrowly focused too much of the time.
It’s time we say enough. It’s time we take action.
It’s time we take responsibility to acknowledge our situation for what it is, imagine what it could be, and have the courage to choose between them.
We can also choose a path with more impact and excitement, and one that helps us avoid the traps of comfort, money, and momentum.
As leaders and organizations, we can maintain the status quo and ride-out “business as usual”… or we can choose to be different, better, and more relevant.
We can create new possibilities designed to attract and inspire.
Design to Align
Brand and platform alignment are two effective strategies that top leaders and organizations use to attract, inspire, engage, and retain top talent and clients.
I cover these topics in the “Your Brand” Series so I won’t go into detail here. In general, however, alignment that engages occurs when there is:
- Common purpose,
- Mutual benefits, and
- A desire to be associated with how the work is done and the people who do it.
“Where alignment exists, engagement is possible.”
-Peter C. Atherton
An attractive and aligned mission, vision, and values statement set the stage for a common purpose. To have engagement, however, growth and impact need to be defined.
Employees need to clearly understand their unique roles and contributions toward the organization’s success. Employees also need to benefit along with the organization in terms of growth and new opportunities.
To engage over the long-term, opportunities need to evolve and scale. Opportunities to co-create and co-impact will also be important.
How the organization actually operates will determine whether employees promote or want to be associated with it over the long-term.
An organization’s authenticity in fulfilling its mission and living out its vision and values is what creates a level of trust and a desire for employees to want to add to the vision and co-brand. This desire is what turns attraction and engagement into long-term growth and retainment.
A winning culture is built on trust.
First, we need to trust in people.
Most people are good, and our trust in good people will be rewarded with goodwill, loyalty, and admiration. Our trust also produces ambassadors. If you are not working with good people, you need to move on from those you have.
As leaders and organizations, our trust needs to translate into providing flexibility to employees. We need to not only respect their desire for appropriate work-life balance and integration, we need to help support, encourage, and enable that to earn their long-term engagement and loyalty.
We need to trust in relationships.
We need to purposefully initiate and advance our relationships with our employees. We also need to learn to evolve and scale these relationships as our employees transition to and between new work and life seasons, not control them.
We need to trust in investments.
Creating better possibilities will always have a high return.
Better possibilities produce work with greater meaning and purpose. Work with meaning and purpose inspires better employee engagement, and better employee engagement is what leads to better outcomes.
Individually, making choices and choosing better will have a profound impact on our success at work and in life.
Organizationally, designing better choices is a decision for better employee engagement and winning outcomes all around.
About the Author
Pete is the President and Founder of ActionsProve, LLC, author of Reversing Burnout. How to Immediately Engage Top Talent and Grow! A Blueprint for Professionals and Business Owners, and creator of the I.M.P.A.C.T. process. ActionsProve works with leaders and organizations to create greater growth and profits through better strategic planning, executive coaching, leadership and management development, performance-based employee engagement, and corporate impact design. Prior to founding ActionsProve, and for more than 20 years, Pete was a very successful and accomplished professional engineer. Pete sold his engineering firm ownership to focus on designing systems for you and your organization to grow and succeed in the 21st century. Pete is also host of the AEC Leadership Today podcast.