I work in engagement. Arguably, we all do. If you are trying to contribute to the world, you have to be engaged in your purpose and mission to be successful. Not only is your engagement crucial, but you need to help others see the value in it as well. My purpose is to help the world be a happier place through empowering and equipping the people in my life to be successful in their goals. Fortunately, I was able to find a company that has a similar purpose. Their mission says, “Helping our partners reach their potential.”
The power of finding a company aligned with your goals is immeasurable. There are countless statistics that support this. And I can tell you first hand the exponential success you will achieve is real – not only monetarily, but also in your emotional wellbeing. Through my experiences and research I am affirmed that creating a strong, aligned culture not only benefits me (the employee), but also the success of the company as a whole. Everybody has the right and ability to experience this success.
The Pursuit of Employee Engagement
As I work with people in the pursuit of engagement, I am often astonished to hear this most common question:
“Well, how much time does it take out of my employee’s day?”
I am often baffled at this question because I think the answer is obvious: all of it. I want your employees to be engaged 100% of the time. If they aren’t, we are going to have to put some time and effort into that goal. The question alludes to their notion that if employees are using engagement tools or participating in culture building activities, they aren’t being productive.
At this time, I am not going to address how taking breaks during work actually makes employees more productive. I am not going to address how working more hours actually decreases productivity. I am not even going to attempt to convince you that the value of alignment far outweighs an extra hour of work when it comes to KPI’s (although it does).
Employees Will Always Be Distracted
Instead, I am going to challenge you with this truth: employees will always be distracted at work.
You can’t fight it. In an age of mobile phones, social media, working remotely… the employee today can easily and quickly disengage at work at any time. As an employer, I would argue it is impossible to prevent.
In fact, it’s not always unrelated work actives that cause the distraction. Yes Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, online shopping, and the like play their part. But outside sources aren’t the only cause. They might not even be the leading cause of distractions (I talk a little bit about that here).
So what do you do as a manager, a CEO, an HR professional to monitor your culture? How do you maximize productivity if you can’t stop employees from disengaging?
Stop Trying to Fight Disengagement in the Workplace
Stop trying to. It’s fruitless. Instead, start influencing how employees spend their time at work when they aren’t working on their tasks so there is a positive return. If an employee wants to take a break, help them do so in a constructive manner that either helps them learn more about themselves, the company, or impacts the community for the better. I assure you, by spending your time encouraging your employees to “disengage” in the right way, you could create a stronger aligned culture that positively affects your bottom line.
So stop using your energy to fight disengagement, and start using it to leverage alignment within your company. You’ll find, as I have, that not only will you, your employees, and your culture be happier and more balanced, but also will lead to more success.
How do you leverage your disengaged employees? Let me know in the comments below.