“Our People Appear To Be Fully Engaged Because They Are Satisfied With Their Jobs”
(Myth 4)

So many times, companies lessen their chances of achieving desired results due to overlooking staff engagement.

A multitude of problems, that may span customer complaints, workplace stress, low-quality products, and missed deadlines, can all lie hidden, costing you time and money that you didn’t even realise you were losing.

It is the ICEBERG that many organisations fail to see. Everything looks fine on the surface, so it’s easy to assume there’s nothing to worry about.

Your people reassure you that they’re satisfied; they are not complaining, they comply with your policies, and they reach their targets. The message you get is this:

I’m Clearly Engaged, Because Everything’s Really Good”

Knowing that your people are happy and performing at an acceptable level is a great start, but that’s all it is—a start.

The key point that I want to share with you is: employee satisfaction isn’t the same as employee engagement. True engagement comes when your people are actively involved in the success of the business.

There are a number of barriers that prevent this from happening.
 
 
The Barriers To Engagement

To discover whether you’re missing what’s going on beneath the surface, there are several questions you can ask to find out if you or other members of the team are building barriers to engagement. Let’s look at one of them now:

Are employees aware of the company’s purpose, vision and objectives?

The whole essence of this question is to ensure everybody can clearly see the bigger picture. The boardroom may have come up with a wonderful plan, but has this been passed throughout the company?

Are you, as a company, clear about your purpose, vision, and objectives? If the company’s purpose, vision or objectives are not being lived, there are two kinds of gaps that can exist—defined or undefined.

In both instances, there is no meaning or connection. There is no way for employees to resonate with the business.

Purpose talks about why you are in business: what drives you, as a leader, to be passionate about the reasons for your business’ existence, which you can then pass on to your employees, so they can share your passion for your products or services.

For example, in broad terms, if we make a product that makes life easier for our customer, then that is our purpose.

Vision talks about where your company wants to head. If your people are being led blindly, then they will not be able to fulfil their roles properly or effectively because they will see no connection with what the company wants to achieve in the future.

Objectives define the specific outcomes that you need to attain in order to achieve your vision. These objectives are the ammunition for the vision and represent how you can translate thought into action. They usually comprise specific tasks and outcomes; if these tasks are not defined and clear, then there is a disconnection between the outcome and the vision.

So it’s important to clearly communicate your purpose, vision, and objectives, along with the strategies you intend to use to attain them.

If you have communicated this information, has it been done in a way that captures your people’s attention and imagination? If your people have no interest in your message, they are unlikely to remember or relate to what the company’s purpose, vision, and objectives are.

The lack of understanding of the bigger picture may demotivate your people. If your people aren’t clear about the bigger picture, they are likely to feel far less connected with why the company exists, where it is going, and what the strategies are to attain these goals.