First, a simple and practical definition of engagement in the context of the workplace: engagement is emotional connection, involvement, and commitment, demonstrated in behaviors and leading to discretionary efforts.
It is that simple and also that profound. Emotional connection, involvement, and commitment can hardly be mandated. Putting “be engaged” on a list of annual performance objectives would be unlikely to yield results. But, contrary to popular opinion, it is not the case that employees are either engaged or they are not. Some people might be more naturally engaged than others at a given point in time, but engagement can be developed and improved in the vast majority. And improving engagement levels in even 25 percent of employees can have an enormous impact on an organization.
Of course, the next question is, how do you do it? And the answer is one simple step at a time.
Over the next several months, we will take our readers through the CTI Engagement Strategy Roadmap, explaining how, by following this logical and practical process, you can bring your organization from its current state to your desired state.
Step 1: Map Terrain
Before you can plan how to get where you want to go, you need to know exactly where you are. To do that for your entire organization at once is not practical. Not only will there be wide variation, but engagement is best assessed within the context of a specific situation. I recommend choosing an area where you need to engagement to succeed, be that a particular department, a special project, or a problem you are trying to solve.
Once you have chosen the area of focus, define the purpose for which you are seeking engagement. For example, “to save lives by successfully implementing a sepsis evidence-based protocol.”
Then ask and answer these questions:
What is the current state?
Awareness and adoption of sepsis evidence bundle has been slow.
What is the desired state?
A sense of urgency and acceptance for sepsis protocol adoption and implementation.
Then map the terrain. To begin, answer these questions:
This will give you a list of stakeholders. Record their names and ask and answer these questions:
Below is an example of how to structure your list and score your stakeholders:
Once done, you can chart your results like this:
This will give you an immediate visual that shows where the work needs to be done. Your highest priorities should be those stakeholders who are highly critical but currently demonstrating low engagement levels. Stakeholders whose engagement levels are already high and who are less critical do not require attention to achieve the stated purpose.
The next step, align to relevant purpose, will be featured in the next issue of our newsletter and cover how to find the common ground between what the disengaged stakeholders care about and the goal you are trying to achieve.