Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Ok, I'm officially interested in 'engagement' - as a topic, as a field, and as a start-up game changer.

I recently tweeted some Gallup results noting that almost three quarters of employees today don't consider themselves 'actively engaged' in their work. Look at four of your employees and pick the three that aren't actively engaged. If your start-up only has 3 folks, I'm not sure what to do.

No matter what 'actively engaged' means or if this stat really applies to your work environment (of course it doesn't right?) this is some serious business to think about. It is something to be concerned about. Think of the lost productivity, the negativity, the turnover, ahhh... This is something to act on.

Your employees might not be engaged if....

They are overwhelmed with work, they are in an environment with poor communication and uncertainty, the business direction and strategy is not relevant to them, they don't feel safe learning new skills or trying new things, they don't understand the big picture, they don't trust their leaders, or their leaders refuse to embrace reality.

Do any of those sound familiar? What is happening, or not happening, due to lack of engagement? What active steps do you do to keep people engaged?


  1. Matt, I have spent years looking at employee engagement - particularly for one organisation. In my opinion, part of the problem is that consultants and "experts" have flooded the field leaving people sceptical and worried about the realness of the term. Personally, I think its simple - if I'm happy at work and understand what is going on then I am more likely to do better work.

  2. Matt,
    Engagement requires forward-thinking leaders who can build trust among employees. Unfortunately, we don't have a lot of that kind of leadership in many companies today. As a result, employees are left to feel disengaged. The downside of that is leadership hasn't placed a focus on training managers to listen more and be more empathetic to employees. Until the silos come down and leadership really understands what is at stake, the problem of disengagement will continue. Looking at it from the perspective of $$$ would help. Engaged workers leads to engaged customers which leads to $$$$. Simple math but difficult to implement.