Everyone Sees You: Employee Engagement in Our New Transparent World

Everyone Sees You: Employee Engagement in Our New Transparent World
From Recruiter - November 7, 2016

You can build a much more wonderful company on love than you can on fear.Kip Tindell, CEO, The Container Store

One of the biggest reasons so many workers are disengaged is because they believe no one sees them. Similarly, employers sail ahead with mediocre cultures because someone assumes talent isnt paying attention. The delusion behind all of this thinking is exposed by the fact that we have entered the Age of Transparency.

Transparency opens the doors and sheds a spotlight on the behavior of virtually every employer. As a result, pressure is now on organizations to build democratic cultures. Todays savvy candidate knows the backstory on the hiring manager, they knowhow much the last person in the role made, and they know whether that green initiative is the real thing or all smoke and mirrors.

Transparency will push employees to become more engaged because well be able to see them. But this awareness isnt a one-way street.

We can no longer ask workers to take on more responsibility without demonstrating that responsibility across the board. We cant order people to wake up until all of us commit to waking up. In truth, disengagement has nothing to do with rank or economic power. If CEOs are just as disengaged as the rest of us, we need a new model that creates a wave of engagement.

Trying to hide the truth is only going to become more difficult with time. Wouldnt it be healthier to build organizations that have nothing to hide, where progress is led byethics and with heart? Wouldnt we get more people to engage if we were fully democratic?

In other words: Instead of only giving development to high-potentials, what would happen if we gave everyone an equal opportunity to grow?

In the U.S. Marines Corps, leadership development isnt reserved for the high-potentials; it is given to everyone. The Executive Council, Forbes, and McKinsey have all named the Marines as a topleadership organization. This is because everyone participates and everyone lives by the values of the organization.

I have had the great pleasure of working with Mel Spiese, a major general who led training and development for the Marines. He preparedmore than 300,000 soldiers for combat. When I asked Mel about employee engagement at the Marines, he chuckled and said, Employee engagement has never been a problem for us.


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