I love to write. I love public speaking. Call me crazy, right? We know that many people avoid both of these activities like the plague. One of the reasons I enjoy these is because I am totally engaged when I am performing them. Each demands my total attention. Each is interactive and iterative, moving toward, but never achieving, perfection. Each results in a product that, usually, sends some positive feedback my way. Each requires a skill which, as it improves, causes me to feel a certain amount of pride in my work. Each makes a difference. Each is something that I find inherently enjoyable – the pleasure is in the doing, not just in the reward.
In short, writing and public speaking are the kinds of activities which, for me, are what I think people are referring to when they talk about employee engagement. For others, fixing cars, computer programming, or keeping track of accounts payable result in similar “engagement”, though neither of these three would for me. Each of us is the same in what motivates us and each of us is different. Great leaders know what both of those are for their followers, and therefore what it takes to create motivating work environments for each unique set of workers.
I was recently interviewed by David Zinger of the Employee Engagement Network. He called it Employee Engagement on the Go: Managing the Mobile Workforce. It was a pleasure talking with him and I felt him to be a kindred spirit. I was honored he’d ask me to come talk with him about our book, Managing the Mobile Workforce. He seems like a genuinely caring person who is making a positive difference.
I am not an expert on “engagement” per se, so it was fun to upgrade my knowledge of “engagement” abit. That included reading some scholarly papers, in particular a couple by Brad Shuck, who has done a great job of synthesizing what the academic world is saying about engagement. McGraw-Hill has a book out called Re-Engage: How America’s Best Places to Work Inspire Extra Effort in Extraordinary Times, by Branham and Hirschfeld. This was a good one since I’m always interested in what we can learn from what the “best places to work” practice. Also, David Zinger himself has a huge amount of information (groups, discussion, feeds, blogs, videos, and more) on the Employee Engagement Network website.
The result – I had a great time during the 45 minute webinar and we covered a lot of territory. It produced a very highly downloaded video, which must have struck a chord with folks thinking about the juxtaposition of engagement and the mobile workforce. I hope you’ll check it out if you have time and interest.