Who is Actually Responsible for Workplace Engagement?

Need to create an engaged workplace? While workshops, webinars, and articles abound on the subject, it takes more than just buying into the value and practice of engagement to be effective. It’s also important to understand who is actually responsible for engagement in the workplace.

Engagement is a responsibility shared by both employees and employers:

  • Employees are responsible for their own engagement in that they need to show up on the job ready, willing, and able to do their best work, and
  • Employers are responsible for creating and maintaining an engaging workplace where employees want to and are enabled to do their best work.

This responsibility also involves choice. Here is what several thought leaders say on the subject.

Quotes on individual employee engagement

“You are the boss of you. That means you get to decide/choose what your attitude is and how you react. Choose wisely.” Alexandria Trusov

“…you have to want to be engaged. There has to be deep-seated desire in your heart and mind to participate, to be involved, and to make a difference. If the desire isn’t there, no person or book can plant it within you.” Timothy R. Clark

“Wellbeing at work is based on our intentions, actions, and connections. It is not an employer program, policy, or work perk. What are you waiting for? Walk through the door and let work make you well.” David Zinger

Quotes on employer engagement

“Working to create a positive culture where people choose to join, stay, develop and perform is part & parcel of any HRD or CEO agenda.” Tony Jackson

“On what high-performing companies should be striving to create: a great place for great people to do great work.” – Marilyn Carlson Nelson

“Engagement will happen if and when an organization sees engagement as something done WITH people, not something done TO people.” Paul Hebert

Quotes on the employee-employer engagement relationship

“When employees feel that the company takes their interest to heart, then the employees will take company interests to heart.” Dr. Noelle Nelson

“Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person – not just as an employee – are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled. Satisfied employees mean satisfied customers, which leads to profitability.” Anne M. Mulcahy

“If the employees come first, then they’re happy. A motivated employee treats the customer well. The customer is happy so they keep coming back, which pleases the shareholders. It’s not one of the enduring green mysteries of all time, it is just the way it works.” Herb Kelleher

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