Engage: Need and People

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Engagement is a very trendy word, and while it is so powerful, because of its (over)use, people are making it harder to understand and think about than is necessary.  In fact, it is writers, speakers and consultants (yep, people like me) who are adding to the confusion by injecting complexity where it isn’t needed. So let’s get past all of that right now.  Let’s get to the heart of the matter.  Let’s talk about what people really want in their lives. Because when they have these at work, they will automatically and effortlessly be engaged in their work. Warning – this list includes seven powerful ideas, but it doesn’t include the item most people think would be at the top of the list.  (Go ahead, make your mental list now and see if the omitted one is on your list.) Meaning.  People want to be a part of something useful, valuable, and bigger than themselves.  Help people see how what they do makes a difference for others, for the community, the world or whatever.  Make sure people can see the mission of the organization and how they can fit in to it.  Even more importantly, help them see why this mission is important. Expectations.  People want to know what is expected of them and what behaviors are valued.  When people know what is really expected, they work with less stress and higher confidence and productivity. Do your team members know what you expect of them?  Do they really know? Have you taken time (lately) to discuss and clarify the expectations and needs of the work? Targets. People are naturally competitive (if only with themselves), so help them compete by giving them (or helping them create) goals. Whether the work is highly creative or more mundane and repetitive, goals drive satisfaction and fun.  Do your people have clear targets to shoot for? Relationships. Human beings want to feel connected to other people, and work is a logical place to have that need met – after all we spend more waking hours at work than in any other activity. Does the...
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