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Why Engagement Has to Start With the CEO

Why Engagement Has to Start With the CEO
From Recruiter - September 2, 2017

Given that 87 percent of workers globally are disengaged, theres a good chance our CEOs are disengaged, too. The global disengagement problem can only be solved if everyone from the entry-level worker to the CEO deals directlywith their own engagement.

Engaged CEOs lead their cultures. The very word engagement suggests connectedness and transparency. The failure of most engagement programs begins when the CEO turns the initiative over to someone else. Engagement includes an emotional component, and many CEOs are uncomfortable with the feelings generated by the human side of business. Others are so absorbed in dealing with market and shareholder expectations that they believe they cannot add culture concerns to their crowded plates. Nothing could be more wrongheaded.

To some, it might seem counterintuitive for CEOs to be saddled with culture development, but developing awakened cultures can make aCEOs job much easier. In fact, whenever Im coaching a chief human resources officer looking to make a career change, I ask: Is the CEO leading the culture? If the answer is no, I tell the client to keep their bags packed. I also tell them it will not be worthwhile to start an engagement program. Without the CEO taking a leadership role, the results will either be mediocrity of failure. Bottom line? Wasted time, effort, and dollars.

When a CEO tells human resources to take over engagement, the CEO becomes disengaged. As I explore in my new book,The Workplace Engagement Solution, the process of waking upof snapping out the trance and getting engaged at workrequires personal change. About 87 percent of todays workers dont know how to do it, dont believe they can do it, or are not changing fast enough. How can we possibly expect talent to wake up if they look to the CEO and see business as usual?

This challenge becomes even clearer when we accept that engagement and personal change is difficultfor all of us. The journey from disengagement to engagement requires deep personal change and some new life skills. Unfortunately, too many of us fear the discomfort of personal change and avoid it at all costs. We do not understand that we are working against our own best interests when we do this! We lack the insight because we simply dont know what we dont know.



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