Dear Mr President: About Employee Engagement …

I’ve enjoyed being a guest on many radio shows since my first book, Taking Care of the People Who Matter Most: A Guide to Employee-Customer Care, was published. One of the most unexpected and intriguing questions I was asked was while I was a guest on Zane Safrit’s show.

In what he called the “Imagination Moment,” Zane asked me to imagine responding to an email from President of the United States that read:

Sybil, our economy reflects our failure to take care of the people that matter the most. I want you to come to the Oval Office and present your three ideas to reverse this trend, nationally.’

This was my response:

  1. Gather information. First, I suggested business/industry associations and academia partner with each other to collect examples of effective employee- and customer care. They all have members from whom they can gather info on what works and what doesn’t.
  2. Make people aware of engagement’s impact and importance. In a collaborative effort, business and academia could then create awareness among their members and the business community about the positive relationship between engagement and the bottom-line.
  3. Help people learn and apply engagement skills. Lastly, provide the appropriate education and training organizations need on how to engage their employees and customers.

Although Zane interviewed me in early 2011, the question and my response are just as valid today. (While it may seem simplistic, keep in mind this was a spontaneous response on a live broadcast.)

This post is not intended to incite any finger-pointing in the campaign, but I am curious – in what other ways can engagement help with our economy? What advice would you give the Oval Office?

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