This post is based on content from Brady Wilson's latest book, Beyond Engagement: A Brain-Based Approach That Blends the Engagement Managers Want with the Energy Employees Need.
Too often, organizations take employee engagement survey results at face value.
Rather than take time to understand the context behind these results, leaders rush to create broad-brush solutions based on overall numbers—frequently resulting in employee resistance.
Let’s be real here: there is no blanket solution for engagement. There never has been, and there never will be.
So what is the solution?
The brain science
In previous blogs, we’ve discussed the science behind how the brain is energized through meaningful, quality conversation.
But conversation doesn’t just boost the brain’s processing power: it also primes positive emotions, deepening relationships and trust between people (like employees and managers), and decreasing fear and worry in the overall system.
Meanwhile, science also shows us that the human brain’s highest priority is to make sense of other people and ourselves.
How can this priority be achieved? Through personal connections: through conversation.
Where does this show up at work?
In the business world, leaders who fail to understand the power of conversation prefer to rely on employee engagement survey data.
Unfortunately, by the time organizations hash out their engagement strategies and present them to employees, they are serving up a “reality” that is three, six, or even nine months old.
But the issue is bigger than the real-time integrity of your intelligence. One-size-fits-all action plans do not fix engagement. Engagement occurs one conversation at a time, doing its job to get the real “backstory” on results.
Why does this matter?
Any engagement activity that is not conversation-driven runs the risk of coming across to employees as parenting, not partnering. And not only that: organizations that create action plans devoid of conversation practically guarantee non-adherence or even covert resistance.
Moving beyond engagement as we know it today is about honouring our native wiring, which needs to use conversation to drive the apps that make things easier and produce great results.
How to make this work
Everything changes for the better when leaders use conversation to draw out what matters most to employees.
Supervisors who use converse frequently with employees and gather their input can draw out the real story behind the numbers.
Not only does this enable the partnering/co-creating of conditions that generate meaningful, sustainable energy—but employees also begin to manage their own engagement.
Co-Founder of Juice Inc, Thought Leader & Author
Co-Founder of Juice Inc.
Vice President, Business Development
Business Development, Juice USA
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