Employee Engagement Should Be The Result – Not The Focus

Employee Engagement Should Be The Result - Not The FocusIf I offered you one free ticket to a presentation given by acknowledged world authorities on each of the following topics, which presentation would you opt to attend? Remember, you can only go to one of them. The choices are:

  • Teams and Teamwork
  • Leadership
  • Management of change
  • Organisational alignment
  • Communication
  • Employee Engagement

I think it’s a fair bet to guess that you didn’t choose Organisational Alignment – not really sexy, is it. No doubt you’ve said to yourself at some stage or other – “I wish my employees were more engaged” or “we need to manage change much better than we do” or “our teams program seems to be running out of steam” but I doubt if you have ever said – “We need much greater organisational alignment”

But if you really think about it, none of these topics are independent and free standing – they are all dependent variables – none more so than the last on the list Employee Engagement. How can you expect employees to have an “emotional attachment to their employer that inspires greater discretionary effort” if they are unsure of the organisation’s goals, lack an understanding of where the organisation is now and really don’t understand what their role is in achieving them?

So it’s possible to arrange these factors in a hierarchy of dependency with each factor dependent on the ones that came before. Here’s the order:

  • Organisational alignment
  • Management of Change
  • Leadership
  • Teams & Teamwork
  • Employee Engagement
  • Communication

On this basis, one might think that Organisational Alignment, being first on the list, is an independent variable. Not so! The quality of Organisational alignment is dependent on the quality of the strategic planning and unless you get the planning “right”, your ability to manage change, develop leadership across all management levels, exploit the benefits of teams and teamwork and engage your employees will be severely restricted.

The definition of Organisational Alignment that I use is:

  • Everyone understands where the organisation is now (the current reality)
  • Everyone understands the destination (overall goal) and the journey (broad strategies for achieving it)
  • Everyone understands their role in getting there

For the complete story on making it happen, see my book – Execution to Die For – the Manager’s Guide to Making It Happen. It’s available on www.amazon.com

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One Response to Employee Engagement Should Be The Result – Not The Focus

  1. rick maurer says:

    Graham –

    What a compelling way to get our attention. Which session would I attend? I love things that grab my interest quickly. Your question did that.

    Although we might quibble about the order over coffee, I certainly agree that alignment (as you define it) comes first.

    I look forward to reading your book.

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