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In a storm, some are anxious and panicky yet others raise their sail to catch the wind. Present day turmoil, many are struggling still yet others have risen through the crisis.

Some say, "Look what's happening to my business!", while others say, "Look! What's happening to my business???".

Some say "Look what's happening to my business!", while others say, "Look! What's happening to my business???"

One difference-maker is in how we engage with our people. 

Here are 3 common myths:

1. We have done it. Here's the survey results to prove it.

Just because you go to the gym, doesn't make you a fit and healthy person. Survey results are great. They provide a measure of engagement and how initiatives are helping or otherwise. But do not be deceived, it does not mean you have engaged your people.

Far from it. From experience, many regard engagement surveys and initiatives as a "nice to have" - a check-in-the-box annual corporate exercise. Trust me, your team and smell it from a distance when it comes to sincerity.

2. People never tell the truth anyway. What's the point?

While it may be true, engaging people enables an avenue to express their thoughts, concerns and support. Some don't, but some do. Regardless, you have an opportunity to hear from them and share your thoughts in an engaging manner. Don't be afraid.

You'll be surprise what can surface during such conversations.

3. We can't please everyone. Why bother?

Engagement is not about pleasing anyone. It is not a tool to demonstrate how accepting people are nor is it a measure of corporate strategy effectiveness. While it helps with the interaction of people and organisation, it does not guarantee the outcome of how that interaction will look like.

Engagement is the constant alignment of people and organisation.

Engagement is the constant alignment of people and organisation - may it be purpose, values, strategies, desired outcomes, etc. It's like a dance move - we need to learn to swing and sway together.

Here are 3 thoughts I'd like to suggest:

1. Engagement needs to happen at every level.

From the youngest to the oldest. From the newest hire to the longest serving employee. From the CEO to the janitor. Everyone needs to be involved for it to work. Everyone is seen as one entity. Not us versus them. Managers and subordinates.

It's about bringing the entire family together and recognising everyone's unique role and contribution. The aim is to realise that this is our house and we all have a part to play. It's not about a few contributing everything, but everyone contributing something to make it work.

2. Engagement is about the people, not you.

Allow me to repeat. Engagement is not a measure of corporate planning effectiveness. It's about the people. Not whether people like you or agree with you, but rather an alignment of purpose.

Where there is resonance of purpose, ownership, passion and commitment will rise. Innovation and creativity becomes a byproduct. People and organisational success become the fruit for everyone to enjoy.  

3. Engagement is a journey not a destination.

The true value of engagement is felt when it becomes culture. Culture is how we behave and how things get done here. Not a set of rules and neither is it our current playbook.

More than that, it is a journey where we learn to "live and work" together to build a strong and healthy house. We learn to care and support one another because it's not about what I get out of this, but how can I contribute to make this house better.

Engagement is an opportunity for co-creation. Co-creation promotes ownership. Ownership means we are the answer.

Are you engaged? Be engaged. Stay engaged!


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