May 19

What Does Employee Engagement Look Like in Real Life?

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By Chuck Coker

You should be able to see engagement taking place as you walk through your organization. It has air or appearance that is unmistakable it has the attributes of collaboration with flair. You can see it in meetings with members of different departments asking questions like:

  • What can our group do to help you get the answers you need?
  • If we were to send over a couple of people from our department would that help you get the project out on time?
  • How can we make that transition easier for you?
  • What expertise can we offer you that would provide your clients with the best possible solution?

As you can see each of the four questions above addresses the 4Cs by extending each aspect from one group to the other, in a unified effort to engage the entire company.

Corporate engagement works best if it comes from the executive office. If this is not the case you will have to build it internally within your own group, which requires you to develop your leadership skills and use them to your greatest abilities. As you do this, it can still have a positive impact on the organization but may take longer.

You should be able to see the same thing happening in your department when you see the collaboration between employees. Collaboration is not just chemistry. Collaboration is the sharing of skills and knowledge, commitment, and work ethic, interacting and encouraging, as well as opening the minds and building new abilities in others. This cannot happen without your inspiration. Managers manage tasks, but leaders inspire, which creates the depth necessary to take a marketing department from one level to the next.

This inspiration will not occur until there are investments of time and energy in each individual employee. That is a conscious decision you must make. Project deadlines, corporate goals, and annual objectives will not disappear when you make the decision to move from management to leadership.

However, your approach to engagement will require you to move from dealing with day-to-day tasks to a mentality of strategy as you approach each day. Think about leading from the perspective of the 4Cs, with an approach of the 4Ps:

  • Priorities? Make sure that each day has priorities and objectives, NOT just tasks. Think about each priority as a tool to enhance your department’s long-term vision. Make sure that each priority is a tool to enhance the vision and mission of the group/organization.
  • Projects? What projects must be completed to achieve those priorities Consider the final priority and work backward, identifying each key progression as a step toward the ultimate objective?
  • Plans? Take the time to plan each project generally. Identify the project plan to those who will be involved and ensure they have enough input so vital details will not be left undone. Once the plan is executed, you now have something measurable that can receive focused attention.
  • Positioning? Readjust your mentality to the position of the completed state. You must begin thinking from this paradigm or the transition will not occur. Who will need to be in this state What will it look like, taste like, and smell like the shift in mentality will allow actualization to occur more quickly?

If you approach your department with this paradigm of thought, it will translate to a mentality that will permeate other portions of the company. Once this type of collaboration, not just communication, begins to occur there will be a greater willingness from others to embrace the engagement process. The next step is to make sure, as a leader, you are focusing on the four aptitudes necessary to build a strong, lasting team.

About the author 

Chuck Coker

For more than 30 years, Chuck has focused his career on people's development. He has implemented proprietary Personal Formation, Human Capital, Talent Management, and incentive-based programs across a broad scope of Fortune Companies, regional organizations, and educational institutions.


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employee engagement


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