May 23, 2011 – While at a meeting the other day, I mentioned some of the research and work I’m doing on engagement and the response from the other side of the table was a smile and the words “that’s a happy topic.” Knowing what was understood and implied, I quickly set the record straight. The engagement I refer to is not the romantic kind; but rather the more encompassing engagement in life and specifically in the workplace. Of course, the secrets and skills of achieving full engagement are readily transferable from the workplace to all other areas of life, including the romantic.So what are these secrets and skills necessary for engagement to ensue?
Not surprisingly, prime conditions for engagement are feeling valued and that our efforts make a difference. To encourage these conditions, we must establish a sense of choice and allow for the development of competency with respect to the task at hand. Essentially the perennial question of WIIFM (What’s in it for me) must be addressed. We ask ourselves this question to gauge our own level of motivation and engagement; and we ask this question from others’ perspectives to gauge their engagement and motivation levels for the endeavor at hand. Successfully answering this question brings about a true buy-in which then establishes the basis for choosing to act.
The old paradigm of the offer of reward (the carrot) and the threat of punishment (the stick) no longer holds sway. Research has proven that this paradigm does not yield engagement and in fact stymies engagement. A new way to motivate ourselves and others must be devised.
We will explore this topic over the next several months both in blogs and in my newsletter. In the meantime, and to bring this concept to the practical sphere, here is a twofold question to consider:
First, in what specific ways can you encourage desired behavior in others to encourage and enhance engagement?
Second, in what specific ways can you apply this concept to yourself, to encourage your own full engagement at work and in your life?
Remember, WIIFM is a question we should ask ourselves about ourselves and about others.
Consider the possibilities.
Adam J. Krim www.driveconsulting.net