Thirteenth-century Persian poet and Sunni mystic, Rumi, once ruminated, “Everyone has been made for some particular work, and the desire for that work has been put in every heart.” Unlocking the heart’s desire is at the very core of employee engagement. But engagement isn’t just a warmhearted, convivial sort of thing. Engagement is part of a dynamic duo synergy that fuels performance and vice versa.
- It’s the passion for a sport that burns in the bellies of medal winning Olympians, and the coaches, family members, friends, and peers who support those dreams.
- It’s that driven, 110% dedication demonstrated by rigorous training schedules and the desire to achieve more
- It’s a compendium of tools that inspire athletes to move faster, go farther – better their best performance.
As levels of engagement rise, so goes performance. Bodies of scientific evidence illustrate how higher levels of employee engagement are a predictor of higher levels of organizational performance.
A report by Harvard Business Review Analytic Service: “The Impact of Employee Engagement on Performance”, consulted 568 predominantly senior-level executives from organizations with 500 or more employees (42% from organizations of 10,000+). The global survey found employee engagement as a top-three business priority with 71% of respondents ranking employee engagement as very important to achieving overall organizational success. It’s about “giving people the tools they need to succeed in their careers, which in turn drives the outcomes that we’re seeking in the marketplace” explained a global consumer goods company VP of talent management. “When you look at it through that lens, when people have the tools they need to succeed, feel good about their personal growth opportunities, and receive the appropriate rewards and recognition for their contributions, it’s a win-win proposition.” ¹
The win-win relevance of engagement to performance extends to an organization’s complete stakeholder constituent. Current and prospective employees are but one part of the equation. Imagine what an insufferably grumpy slow-to-respond accounts payable person conveys to suppliers about the culture of an organization and the value that organization places on its vendors? Consider the impact on customer relationship management and overall client satisfaction when an organization is continually dealing with a revolving door of disenfranchised employees.
Steve Jobs may have summed it up best “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” Creating that kind of great work and workplace is the sign of a highly-engaged organization invested in the security and growth of its people and its profits.