The folks at Gallup, whose global studies have shown that most people are disengaged at work, are now finding and studying groups who are actively working to not disengage their people. A 2020 report found four factors that drive higher engagement.
Actually engaging with the people who already show up at your work is possible, and the organizations they study are showing how. From an ecosynomic perspective, these organizations are making a very difficult and challenging move, from deep scarcity where they treat their people as replaceable machine pieces to respecting that these people actually know something, might actually be learning something, and might actually care about what the organization is doing. This is a huge step on the way to becoming an organization that stops saying No! to human creativity and begins to say Yes! to human creativity. It is a big step, and Gallup researchers have teased out four of the drivers that these leaders are taking in this step.
Here is what they describe, in the four drivers, and an initial ecosynomic description of what these drivers highlight.
- High-development cultures are CEO- and board-initiated. This driver highlights the ecosynomic Economic Lens, which asks the question of how much resource is available. In high-development cultures, the CEO and board signal to the organization that (a) development towards purpose is also an important resource, beyond just outputs and outcomes, and (b) organizational resources are available to support this.
- High-development cultures educate managers on new ways of managing — moving from a culture of “boss” to “coach.” This driver highlights the Political Lens, asking who decides and enforces. In high-development cultures, decisions are made by the primary relationship most relevant to that decision, meaning that individuals make decisions about their own potential, learning, and engagement, supported by others in that process, with the group deciding for the group’s processes.
- High-development cultures hold managers accountable. This driver highlights the Cultural Lens, asking the question of what criteria or values are used in decision making and enforcement. In high-development cultures, leaders throughout the organization are held accountable, based on values of potential and learning and outcomes.
- High-development cultures practice companywide communication. This driver highlights the Social Lens, which focuses on the question of how people interact. In high-development cultures, the rules of the game focus on explicit communication across the whole organizational ecosystem, across levels, functions, and geographies, supporting the shared engagement and understanding of outputs, outcomes, development, learning, and potentials.
These are very real examples of what Gallup is finding across many organizations. What many others are figuring out. These are realities available to you. It is VERY EXPENSIVE to shut down the people you already have. It is far LESS EXPENSIVE to say Yes!, to engage the people who you already have. Your choice.