As I was considering writing this article, Grammarly sent the word for the day (No surprise is it I’m hooked on this app?) which was “whataboutism.” I’d never heard the term before, but then I’ve found there’re no coincidences in my world. The definition is a conversational tactic in which a person responds to an argument or attack by changing the subject to focus on someone else’s misconduct, implying that all criticism is invalid because no one is completely blameless. Excusing your mistakes with “whataboutism” is not the same as defending your record.
The business world is running amuck with engagement “whataboutism” even with all the research, attention, time, and money thrown at the issue.
Of course, it’s tempting to point fingers at your company. They do have a responsibility to generate an atmosphere conducive to producing work commitments. But an engaged workforce also demands commitment from every employee—not a fast, impulsive “yes”—but steadfast, everyday attention.
Ask yourself the following question to see how culpable, or not; you are in the engagement crisis.
Do you consistently bring your best to work—your creative spirit, expertise, enthusiasm, loyalty, and energy?
It doesn’t matter what position you hold, whether a leader or employee let’s examine what you can do to shrink the engagement gap a bit.
Did you know?
Teams Generate Engagement: ADP’s Research Institute reveals the most dominant factor pointing to engagement is whether or not respondents reported doing most of their time working in groups. When you’re working on a team, you are more than twice as likely to be fully engaged as when operating alone.
Accountability Leading to Action: It appears engagement is contagious. Put your name in the hat to be a member of teams forming in your department with a particular eye on cross-functional, company-wide collaborative endeavors. Not only will you find yourself more satisfied, and enjoying your workday more fully, you’ll also have an opportunity to share fresh engagement concepts in the company as a whole.
Strength Recognition Is The Secret: Gallup’s research consistently reveals that when employees become aware of their natural strengths, they become 7.8 percent more productive. If you consciously lean into your strengths as often as possible every day, you’re six times more likely to be engaged. And referring back to the innate power of teams, when the team structure focuses on using strengths, they experience 12.5 percent greater productivity.
Accountability Leading to Action: Take a moment to re-read the statistics and then, imagine how much faster you would be realizing your career aspirations if you saw this level of improvement in your work efforts. Yes, I know not all companies pay attention to the topic of strengths, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take it on as this year’s development project. And now contemplate intentionally celebrating your bosses and co-workers strengths. What level of engagement would you and those around you generate? There’s plenty of research and additional insight online, and you can always reach out to me. A powerful instrument addressing this issue, for both individuals and teams, is StrengthScope, which I’m accredited to employ.
Yes, your company can construct an environment for engagement to occur, but the bottom line is you—and only you—determine whether you are engaged or not. And you do have far more influence over your organization should you decide to use your power. It takes time and patience, and then, success can be yours.