Here’s a well used tool that claims to effectively measure engagement at work (see below). Trouble is, it seems to be based on a parent-child model of engagement, with the the organisation being the parent and the workers being the ickle children. That’s not really engagement – that’s compliance! Remembering back to my engagement to my wife, that was something that we both wanted to do (get engaged), one of us may have initiated the engagement (in a somewhat unromantic and … enough said), but both parties then shared being engaged. I don’t think I ‘did’ engagement to my now wife! I also don’t remember asking my now wife along the way, “how engaged are we, darling?”, and asking her to complete a questionnaire to give me a percentage rating of how well I was doing for her engagement! The ring was never removed, so we remained engaged. Had something gone wrong, the engagement would have been broken off – you’re engaged or you’re not. That’s kind of how it works.
Taking an analogy and flogging it, businesses and everyone that works there are engaged when the employment contracts are signed. What then follows is a period of chosen engagement, with both parties needing to keep working to show that the desire to be together in the first place is still there and that actually, the future together looks equally bright. Regular conversations that make sure we’re still treating each other in a way that reflects the original commitment is key and also making sure that both parties are talking about how they’d like the relationship to grow and what each other can keep doing, stop doing or start doing to make sure the next phase of “togetherness” is mutually great! If you stop talking and stop liking each other, then the initial engagement will probably be broken off. However, if there’s still enough commitment to making things work, then the behaviours that show this commitment will continue and partner to make things good again. If things are skipping along wonderfully and you’re still blissfully committed to each other, then that means you’ve got the opportunity to think big and find out if things can be even better – worst case scenario is you’ll stay as blissfully committed as you already are and be grateful that you made the effort to be happier!
Anyway, back to measuring engagement. Take a look at the popular questionnaire and then see what you think about the alternative questions in brackets. Our version has been designed to promote the partnership approach to making the most of the engagement you’ve committed to in much more of an ADULT-ADULT approach, with everyone in the business responsible for playing their part in behaving like constantly improving the relationship is important to them. Let us know what you think and if you like the questionnaires sufficiently to use them, please let us know what you found out by using them.
- Do I know what is expected of me at work? (I work collaboratively with leaders to ensure I know what is expected of me at work)
- Do I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right? (I work with leaders to ensure I’m getting the most out of the materials and equipment needed to do my work right)
- At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day? (I’m challenged AND supported to get the best performance out of myself everyday, regardless of what I’m doing)
- In the last seven days, have I received recognition or praise for doing good work? (I am regularly seeking out feedback as well as being provided it so I know how to improve in my role)
- Does my supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about me as a person? (There are many people at work that care about my performance)
- Is there someone at work who encourages my development? (I am regularly expected to keep driving my own development by the people I work closest with AND I’m supported to take action)
- At work, do my opinions seem to count? (I am supported to be confident in the knowledge I have and I always look to offer my expert opinion so my knowledge is shared and can be made use of)
- Does the mission/purpose of my company make me feel my job is important? (I have been supported to ensure that I know how my role makes a difference to the company as a whole)
- Are my co-workers committed to doing quality work? (Within the business we work constantly to ensure everyone is delivering their best possible performances, individually and collaboratively)
- Do I have a best friend at work? (There’s a great mix of people I respect and get on well with at work)
- In the last six months, has someone at work talked to me about my progress? (Feedback and Progress conversations happen formally and informally with great regularity and a shared responsibility for making sure they happen)
- This last year, have I had opportunities at work to learn and grow? (I’ve been supported to take regular opportunities to learn and grow – it’s the way we do things around here)
Now, many of the questions above contain several elements, which mean that we’re looking for ALL things to be true in order that someone can totally agree. So, even though we can have an interesting discussion about the nature of questions in questionnaires, these questions are designed to promote a spirit and philosophy and to get people staying focused on the ongoing, mutual accountability of making an engagement work!
Now, go celebrate the engagement you have committed to!