Employee Engagement – how do you go about it? Is it an annual event or integrated part of your culture?
Gallup recently published a report stating that only 15% of the global workforce is engaged.
‘Worldwide, the percentage of adults who work full time for an employer and are engaged at work — they are highly involved in and enthusiastic about their work and workplace — is just 15%. Though engagement levels vary considerably by country and region, in no country does the proportion of the employed residents who are engaged in their job exceed about four in 10.’
It is undoubtedly a very alarming finding. So, who is responsible to raise Employee Engagement? The common answer is the manager. I do, however, agree about it partially. To me, it is a team effort. Everyone holds responsibility in it and following are my reasons.
Many moons ago, I worked on the project that conceived, developed and launched the world’s first debit card. The initiative was led by a terrific individual, Bill Hislop, now sadly passed away. I was reminded of his verve and vitality as a leader by the background that appeared on booting up Windows 10 earlier this week.
I remember Bill speaking to a group of new graduate entrants and showing two cartoons. The first showed a climber atop a mountain peak with the caption, “It’s now how far you’ve come…” The second showed a broader perspective of the landscape with the climber standing on what could be considered a mere hillock looking out to a Mordor-like mountain range; the caption read, “… it’s how far there is to go.”
This article is about constant care and the maturing process. When I started working in shipping I wanted to work in operational execution. I applied so many times and never got the opportunity. I overheard a manager make a comment about me once: “He doesn’t have the required emotional intelligence to work in operations”. That did not make me feel very happy. Then I experienced the greatest motivational drive for me, that stubborn feeling when someone tells me that I cannot do something. It took me years and several applications to finally get to where I wanted to be. I was offered the wonderful opportunity of leading a team overseas.
My recent period of turbulent times started innocently enough – with a neighbour giving us a bunch of wilting Sweet Pea plants (Lathyrus odoratus). The plants were not showing much sign of life, so I decided to save them. What then followed were a series of challenging events which, taken in the whole, have provided some valuable lessons for life. But this is not a horticultural blog so what I’ve looked for is how life informs leadership, and vice versa.
Now that I’m almost freed from the shackles of daily commercial endeavour, I find I take more valuable time to reflect on the lessons that life throws at me. My friend and Guest Author Domingos Silva put it so well in his recent Blog article: “I never lose. I either win or learn”. Domingos in turn was quoting from Nelson Mandela.
What were my challenging events – my turbulent times – and what were the lessons for life and leadership?