Abhijit BhaduriGuest Author

Is engagement the cause or the effect

By Abhijit Bhaduri

When people update their profile pictures, they wait with bated breath to see if anyone noticed. The first few likes have to come in quickly. If people have to choose between getting unflattering comments and no responses, they would take it on the chin but would wilt away if no one noticed that their profile photo had been changed. In the workplace it is a different story altogether. People put in their best, learn new things and think of clever things to say and do. More often than not the colleagues and worse still, their managers don’t notice. This is the talent engagement conundrum.

Organizations have to worry about three major talent challenges. How to woo talented people to come through the door so that they can be hired. Once they have been hired and assigned a task, the organization has to keep them from losing interest in the task and the organization. Keeping their talented people engaged is the second challenge. The last challenge is all about developing the people to maximize their potential and growing their talent. Of this, engaging people is the hardest. A manager had once told me, “Talent engagement is like being a stand-up comedian every day. You are never sure, which jokes will get the laughs.”

Why engage?

EngagementIf someone has been hired to do a job, shouldn’t they just do their job? While a lot of employees will do the bare minimum they need to do to keep their jobs going, there is a small percentage of employees who hit the ball out of the park. They file for patents, contribute more and are evangelists for the brand. According to Bain and Company, companies like Apple, Netflix, Google, and Dell are 40% more productive than the average company. That amounts to a disproportionate impact on the bottom line.

Are the successful companies able to hire stars who deliver more? Not really. 15% of an average company’s employees are stars. The proportion is barely a percent more in the successful companies. What the successful companies do differently is to deploy their top talent across the projects that have the highest impact on the bottom line. Knowing that the work we do makes a difference is a big high.

Teachers report very high levels of satisfaction and engagement because they believe that they are making a difference to the lives of students. People in helping professions echo the sentiment. Being able to do a job may make people successful, but making an impact makes a person feel valued. Knowing that one matters can be a great trigger.

Read On….

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abhijitAbhijit Bhaduri works as the Chief Learning Officer for the Wipro group. He lives in Bangalore, India. Prior to this he led HR teams at Microsoft, PepsiCo, Colgate and Tata Steel and worked in India, SE Asia and US. He is on the Advisory Board of the prestigious program for Chief Learning Officers that is run by the Univ of Pennsylvania. Visit http://www.abhijitbhaduri.com/   and follow me on Twitter @AbhijitBhaduri

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