Engagement: The Ending Begins With Dreaming.
The Ending. Rarely happens how you want it to happen. Usually ends like a nasty public divorce. Companies ask people to leave. People get mad and leave. Some are lucky to retire with a standing ovation. Unfortunate people have health issues that makes them end it (i.e. Steve Jobs). All involve emotions, but start with a person’s longing to belong. Each person starts at a company with a dream or visual on how it will work. Most dream to make a difference. Put their mark in the world. Leave it better than they found it. They are dreaming. They want to belong. People are ENGAGED. So…Why do you screw with people’s dreams? You probably don’t know you do it. Too often you say NO, before you ask WHY. You say, “yes, but” instead of “yes, and”. You want control over people’s dreams, yet do not know their dreams. You want to have “the answer” to all of their questions. Your answer kills their dreams. Let them figure it out. Give them a long leash (or no leash. That’s better.) with a little direction; they will come back with the answer. Give them a short leash with a lot of direction and you have created a puppet. A puppet you can control with forms or presentations to complete. Makes them suck at their job and hate you. People are NOT ENGAGED.
People come to your company to make a difference. Every company thinks they provide this opportunity. Few do. The ending for entrepreneurs, innovators and leaders is to stand in front of the company and say, “Hey, I made a difference here and glad I could be part of your lives”. They want to belong. They want you to say, “Yeah we are really going to miss Jane or Johnny”. These people made a difference.
Never do they dream about going on an HR invented Work Improvement Plan. They don’t dream about getting upset at the company and leave to end it. They want a place to dream and make difference. They long to belong. They want to end at a place that lets them belong. The engagement survey does nothing for dreams. Are you a leader? Do you dream? What are the dreams of the people you are leading? Go find out. What are you doing to let people dream? Someone let you dream. Now it is your turn to let someone do the dreaming. That is engagement.