“I love working with my customers. They’re what keep me engaged. Can’t say I feel the same about the company I work for.”
“I’m upset by the lack of professionalism in my office. Co-workers dress sloppily. They curse in the office and don’t seem to take work seriously. What keeps me going are the conversations I have with my counterparts in other offices.”
These highlight discussions I had recently with business professionals in different fields. I’ve heard similar sentiments from employees who stay engaged for the satisfaction of working with their customers and/or co-workers. According to a TINYPulse study on engagement and organizational culture, “Peers and camaraderie are the number one reason employees go the extra mile … not the money. Camaraderie plays the true motivating role in encouraging employees to outperform expectations.
Enjoying their work with co-workers and customers is key to employees being engaged, but it’s not enough. Total engagement happens when employees connect on three fundamental levels:
- with the organization itself – when employees understand the organization’s purpose and strategy, including knowing where they fit in and what’s expected of them.
- with customers – when employees know who the customers are and what is important to them so employees can better serve them.
- with fellow employees – when employees also understand and respect how everyone’s work is interconnected in achieving organizational goals.
The people I spoke to acknowledged they’re not disengaged, just partially engaged. How fortunate for their employers. But I can’t help wondering how much better they and their respective companies would be if they were fully engaged on all levels.