You are currently viewing Employee Engagement is not the Responsibility of the Employee. Here’s Why.

Employee Engagement is not the Responsibility of the Employee. Here’s Why.

If I had a dollar for every time I had a leader tell me “I wish they had given me an engaged team” or “why can’t my team be bothered to be engaged” I could retire a rich man right now, and never have to work another day in my life. Seriously!

Each time I hear that alarm bells start ringing in my head and I think this person has no real clue as to what leadership is really about.

They just want to be able to bark orders at their teams, and then have them loyally followed, without any further involvement from them.

Newsflash – That’s not how leadership works!

A leaders first job is to create a vision, set direction and get the team on board with that vision/direction.

Literally the first thing a leader has to do is to engage their team.

It is your responsibility to engage them, it is a key component of your job description.

It’s like driving a car, as the driver it’s your job to put the car in gear (or in drive for my automatic car friends) in order to engage the engine, without which the car won’t move.

It’s exactly the same with your team.

Now employees do have to be willing to be engaged, but it’s you the leader that has to make that connection with them, and get their buy-in and get them engaged.

Employee engagement starts with you, and that means that you have to be engaged too, Leadership defines culture, and if you are not engaged then it’s unlikely that they will be.

The first step to creating an engaged team is to accept that it is your responsibility.

If you don’t, then no one else is going to engage them for you. And you’re career as a leader is definitely going to be short lived, because disengaged teams rarely achieve their goals or deliver the expected results.

Gordon Tredgold

Gordon Tredgold is a leadership transformation expert ranked #25 in Global Gurus Top 30 leadership gurus for 2019. Over his 25-year career Gordon has led teams of 1000+ staff in Fortune 100 companies, delivered operational cost savings of $350m and transformed delivery (from <35% to 95 %) and service levels (from 57% to 99.7%). A critically-acclaimed author, Gordon's latest book, FAST: 4 Principles Every Business Needs to Drive Success and Achieve Results, was a finalist for Management Book of the year 2017. He is a regular contributor for Inc. Magazine, Entrepreneur, Forbes, Fortune and Business Insider and an international keynote speaker, recognised by Inc. Magazine as a top 100 leadership expert and speaker. Gordon works with organisations to transform culture, drive results-based leadership and rapidly accelerate organisational growth and performance.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Jim Smith

    The what and why hasn’t been in dispute for a long time. The “HOW” is what’s missing. The term leadership is too broad, disengagement is an enterprise problem and leadership, being anything but altruistic, is just as adverse to change as the enterprise population. So, the challenge is, exactly who is going to disrupt the politics, culture, and silos which are the problem. Collectively they represent the biggest barrier to an engagement transformation. So that leaves only one workable solution, the CEO. For twenty-five years I have led EE/EX transformations reporting to the CEO.Part of our magic sauce, so to speak, is that we collect the CEO requested data and we drive the results through the politics, culture, siloed management taking disagreements, including officers, to the CEO’s staff for arbitration. Only one in 25 years took his issue that far and it did not end well. What is lacking even if you get the CEO’s attention is a process that guides the way. Unlike Gordon, I have no books or no rankings, but the approach we use has generated at a single account, a sustainable SG&A reduction of $300 million, a capital reduction of $200 million, and an inventory reduction of $45 million. All this in ten weeks without HR and exclusively from the employee s’ input to a simple 9-word question from the CEO. Without the CEO and without a roadmap, the politics, culture, and silos win every time. So, the “WHAT” and the “WHY” continue to be discussed completely out of context when not combined with the “HOW”

    1. Kym Hamer

      Jim, I agree with your points: that the WHAT and WHY are not enough in isolation – it’s the HOW that make it real, alive in the organisation and producing results. And that while disruption from within the organisation is a great catalyst, the CEO & senior team must have the appetite for it – otherwise it either gets squashed or disappears into the cracks created by silos and politicking. Great to hear about the extraordinary results available to organisations who put the right things in place too!

      Thank you for taking the time to offer such a thought-provoking and comprehensive response.

      Kym Hamer
      Managing Partner @ NextTen

  2. Gordon

    Jim, yes we need to understand the how i completely agree with you. One of the hows that will never work is expecting the employees to take care of it 😉 It has to com from the top down, it’s about creating the right culture and the right environment for success to happen, when you can do that people will engage because the fundamentally want to be successful. For sure there are some employees, I know i was always one of them, who feel empowered enough to try and make that happen from either the bottom up or middle app, but it’s so much quicker and impactful when it comes top down. Thanks for your comment really appreciate your point and great result that you have achieved 😉

Comments are closed.