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Employee Engagement Starts At The Top

Going to this level of engagement and buy-in with your staff is magical.

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Open palm with stretched fingers holding black metal compass against white sandy beach. Find your way or goal concept. Point of view pov.
Open palm with stretched fingers holding black metal compass against white sandy beach. Find your way or goal concept. Point of view pov.

I read a phenomenal article in the McKinsey Quarterly this past week. The article doesn’t mention the term “employee engagement” anywhere in the text. The article does make a passionate plea to executives everywhere to re-evaluate their company purposes to see if they still resonate and are in alignment with them personally, with the executive team, with the employees, with the future of the company, and with the world. For the latter, the author states, “If you truly believe in your purpose and are prepared to live it, you should be willing to take it to the world, commit to it publicly, get measured and show results transparently, and be judged on the success of your efforts.” Were I to be aligned personally with that company’s purpose, that sounds like a place I would love to work for.

In the October 2019 survey that accompanies the article, 855 employees were asked:

  1. Is your company’s purpose activated (meaning is it aligned with all business activities and decisions from top to bottom)?
  2. Is your company’s purpose aligned with your sense of individual purpose?

44% of the respondents answered “yes” to both questions. Those 44% were 2x to 4x more likely to stay at the company, be actively engaged, and be willing to advocate for their company. So, while they don’t use the specific term “employee engagement” in the article, I want to highlight this for you as one of the ways that employees achieve higher engagement.

Remember back to Gallup’s Question #1 (I Know What’s Expected Of Me At Work). Many times, people read this question and think of the obvious: Do they know what they are supposed to each day and how to do it? That is a part of that question, to be sure, however, why they are doing something is just as important. And that doesn’t stop with, “Why do we do this particular task this way?” It continues deeper into a company’s purpose. For example, “How does this align with our company purpose of X?” Going to this level of engagement and buy-in with your staff is magical.

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