We Got Engaged! Become a Commitment-Worthy Company
Recently, yet another coworker of mine got engaged. In this case, I mean in the romantic, let’s plan a wedding sense, but I’m sure at least a few of you HR pros thought first of employee engagement. In my current environment, both employee engagement and romantic engagement are hot topics - something to discuss and maybe aspire to, and something that seems out of reach for those that don’t have it.
While I’m sure anyone with an “employee engagement” Google alert is tired of receiving strangers’ wedding announcements, the parallels between these two types of engagement can teach organizations how to build a meaningful relationship with their employees.
Engagement is about the future
Just as marriage is about more than a wedding, a career is about more than the project at hand. When planning for the future, it is important to look at the big picture. Quarterly goals are a great step, but career planning allows employees to invest in the company and their role for the long term. Organizations need to build out a plan for the future together with their employees, so the goals and paths to success are clear.
Engagement is about intention
An engagement is not, in fact, binding, and we should be wise to remember that fact. Being engaged in their work does not mean employees will stay with the same company forever, but it does mean they come to work each day with the intention of making the company better. Don’t expect your top performers to stay forever because they seem happy. Find out what their deal-breakers are and make sure to address them. Be open and honest with your employees and make sure you understand the expectations they have for their roles. Engagement is commonly derailed by miscommunication.
Engagement is about commitment
Few people these days expect to work for one company for the rest of their lives. Nonetheless, signing an employment contract demonstrates a level of commitment. Every day may not be rainbows and cream puffs, but as an employee, don’t let a little frustration send you running. For many people, challenges make the job more interesting and more rewarding. So if you don’t feel particularly engaged at work today, focus on how to address your current challenge first instead of browsing job boards.
Engagement is mutual
Employee engagement won’t work without a company’s commitment to the employee and that employee’s success. Just as a romantic engagement does not work if it is entirely one sided, both the employee and the organization need to be invested to achieve success. As an employer, give your workforce the opportunity to love what they do. By providing for basic needs, recognizing accomplishments, and showing genuine respect and interest, you are creating an environment that encourages employee engagement. By the same token, as an employee, you must actively participate in your engagement. Do not expect or rely on an employer to create a meaningful relationship with you without any effort on your part. Ensure you are creating opportunities for yourself to be invested in what you do and who you do it for.
To the best of my knowledge, no company has ever gotten down on bended knee and asked someone to be theirs forever. Nonetheless, the employer-employee relationship should be taken seriously. Make a commitment to building a beautiful and successful career today.
Elyssa Thome is a copywriter at Achievers. She believes business success is powered by exceptional people and is proud to be an advocate of Employee Success™. She has been a professional writer (depending on how you define “professional”) since making her own author business cards in fourth grade. She is not currently engaged to be married, in case you were curious.