• Dave Bates

Two Truths About Employee Engagement

...and how to fix it in your company

How engaged is your team? Photo by Wise Insights

Employee engagement – that measure of how “bought in” the full-time employees are within a company – is a topic of much discussion. Gallup Research has been leading the analytical effort and produces regular reports on the state of employee engagement.


If you attend CEO working groups or leadership networking meetings, speakers regularly talk about employee engagement.


We talk about what it costs a team and its leaders when employee engagement is low and offer our ideas and possible solutions.


It seems like coaches and consultants everywhere have the solution.


The trouble is that the majority of them present the system or tool they’ve discovered as the one and only.


No CEO or senior leader could be faulted for being confused.


The truth is, the causes of employee engagement challenges can be complicated.


Here’s a really short list of some issues I’ve heard:


  • My employees don’t think like owners vs The people who run this place are in the dark

  • My employees are unmotivated vs The people who run this place only care about one thing…

  • My employees don’t care vs The bosses couldn’t care less


They’re not always this extreme. Sometimes, though, they are.

You've probably heard different ones.


Your business is like a fingerprint. Unique in every way.

The challenge comes with another list. A list filled with “the solution to employee engagement issues”:


  • Run your organization with this new system.

  • Fix your culture with a new tool every day, week, quarter, and year.

  • Hire people by following this process and with this assessment.


Every single one of these things (and many more) will likely help in some way.


And that’s the point.


Your business is like a fingerprint. Unique in every way.


Sure, all of us have fingerprints but none of them are the same. You’re delivering a product or service to a particular set of customers. You develop and deliver it in your own unique way. Nobody has the combination of people and processes you have.

Employee engagement challenges are equally unique.


The second truth?


The solution for your business is just as unique as the business.


Your business didn’t become the way it is overnight. It is the result of countless decisions. Most of them were intentional and well thought out at the time. Some of them “just happened”. Many are good. Some aren’t contributing in the positive ways you’d like.


Resolving employee engagement challenges starts with understanding where we are and how we got here.


Owners, executives, and leaders can then use this understanding to decide what changes they want and how much investment they’re willing to make. Knowing where you want to go – as a leader and a team – is the most important thing you can do to increase your employee engagement levels.


There’s no single solution to employee engagement issues but there is a solution - as uniquely designed as your company - that will work for you.


Do you know what you want? If not, that’s the place to have someone help you start.


If not now, when?



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