The Art of Re-Engagement: 9 Personal Engagement Tips

Who is responsible for your commitment to an idea, a person or even an organization?

There are a number of firms touting the idea that managers or direct supervisors are the key to Employee Engagement.  Unfortunately that is a narrow and tired argument.  Now I am not saying that a manager does not play a role or even a critical role.  However, we have placed too much emphasis on managers.  There are two reasons why we should not place so much responsibility their shoulders:

1.      Managers are struggling with their own Engagement.

Accenture recently conducted a survey of job satisfaction with middle managers that revealed increased frustration for a variety of reasons.  When asked to cite the most frustrating aspects of their jobs they cited the following:

·         Increased workload — 36%

·         Not receiving enough credit for their work — 32%

·         Having no clear career path — 31%

·         Less support to work effectively 31%

If managers are unable to work through their own issues, and many are unable to, how can we expect them to positively impact others?  What’s more is by putting pressure on them as the so called Employee Engagement valve we can cause the very behavior we want them to avoid and create turnover in management and non-management ranks.

2.      Focusing on one driver creates victims.

Organizations are sending messages everyday that, whether consciously or unconsciously, demonstrate to their employees that they are not responsible for their own commitment.  Why should I focus on my Engagement when it is my manager’s responsibility?  This idea may have worked and had merit years ago, but not today.  We must all take a certain amount of responsibility for our own Engagement. 

I think about Captain Sully from the Hudson River landing.  When it became evident that his plane was going down, he did not ask for his manager.  He did not want to know what his organization was going to do for him.  He drew strength from inside.  He was able to get passed the “sickening” feeling in his stomach and take an ownership attitude rather than thinking and acting like a victim. 

We all need to take a stronger role in our Engagement.  Here are 9 ideas on how to start:


  Take specific steps to ensure that your work makes a difference at your organization

  Clarify what is expected of you with all of the key people important to your success

  Be an advocate for someone else in this next quarter

  Search out, ask, find, and utilize a coach or mentor

  Clearly share with your manager what support you need from them

  Ask for, review, and discuss your performance expectations with your manager in this next quarter

  Make a concerted effort to create a challenging written development plan and share it with others

  Read at least two business, career, or self development books in the next 6 months

  Identify at least 2 ways to challenge yourself in your current assignments

Good luck getting Re-Engaged! 

Tell us…What has worked for you?


One thought on “The Art of Re-Engagement: 9 Personal Engagement Tips

  1. You made some fine points about managers struggling with their own engagement and the potential to create victim thinking versus ownership feeling. I look forward to following your blog.

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