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Workplace Engagement Programs Start here or don't start at all!
By David Harder on October, 28, 2019

Workplace Engagement Programs Start here or don’t start at all!

Real leaders do more than manage marketing and finances. They impact, influence, and inspire results from everyone. They are willing to do whatever it takes to generate passion from everyone on the team. They do this by listening, by never cutting corners, and by helping everyone attain their own dreams as a legitimate part of the journey.

It takes just a bit of common sense to define why typical engagement initiatives produce single-digit improvements or fail altogether. You will probably recognize the pattern:


  1. The CEO or business owner realizes that disengagement is impacting profits and customer satisfaction. He or she walks down the hall to human resources and tells them to fix the problem.
  2. The human resources executive launches an employee engagement initiative. Still, the employees look past his or her shoulder to the CEO for cues, and they see “business as usual.”
  3. An employee survey is issued. Quite often, employees feel patronized by questions that seem to be asking, “How can you do more for us?”
  4. The feedback is summarized and shared, usually succeeding in making managers feel even more inadequate to solve the problem.
  5. We send the managers to a retreat center to become better leaders. They return more “enlightened” to employees who respond, “So what?”


Rinse and repeat.


Every year, organizations spend well over a billion dollars in attempts to fix employee engagement problems. But, global disengagement figures persist at about 87%. The challenge has built a consulting category that treats disengagement as a chronic illness, forever in need of their services. Progress creates problems for all of us. Right now, there are pharmaceutical companies actively engaged in dialogues about how to cure cancer without killing the company.


So, how do we cure disengagement without killing the consultant?


We will cure engagement if a CEO or business owner refuses to lead their own cultures. Human resource executives ought to keep their bags packed if they are expected to fix the problem on their own.


Most anyone today can agree that we are in a fundamental restructuring of work. Being able to change oneself requires new skills and practice. Rapid personal change can only happen with increased connectivity with others, the ability to pay attention to everyone, and the willingness to ask for help.


From a time perspective, work is our most prominent relationship. In the almost 30 years that we have helped people transform that relationship, we have learned that an individual has to define the work they love. They have to learn the skills that produce fluid, skillful, and quick connections with the right people. If they hope to stay ahead of obsolescence, they must become active learners.


When any organization rolls up its sleeves high enough to solve engagement, everyone has to be engaged.


Today isn’t about trying to convey everything in my book, The Workplace Engagement Solution (CareerPress). Instead, I will share my suggestions from the front and the end of the book.


The beginning? Until the CEO or business owner takes charge of your commitment to building an engaged workplace, don’t waste your time.


When he or she does make that commitment, the only cost-effective way to reach a fully engaged workplace is by establishing strongly effective mentoring cultures where we demonstrate and teach every employee to develop the ability to change, to help others, connect fluidly with others, and to enjoy their entrance into the future of work.



Brought to you by David Harder, President – Inspired Work, Inc.


Schedule 15-Minutes to Discuss Your Workplace or Career with David (Here)


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