Love & Walking the Talk

A recent Gallup survey of employees in the work place revealed that only 13% of employees in Europe are Engaged with their work. On the one hand this is surprising given all the initiatives on engagement, performance management and development that many companies embark on. 

On the other hand, it isn't. The question is this – how much Love is expressed in the work place?  I don’t mean the mushy or romantic  kind of love. What I do mean is the type of Love that shows “I respect you as my colleague” regardless of your status or the extent to which you are means to my career enhancement or my bonus.   For example, to what extent do colleagues or people say what they mean and mean what they say to other colleagues or to friends and family? To what extent are promises made with a genuine intent of keeping them?  

Every little broken promise though in the moment may seem like nothing, leaves an indelible mark on the effected person’s memory and sometimes on their heart. A human being at work is the same human being at home with friends, family and loved ones.  A person who calls themselves a leader or who would welcome been addressed as such, who when about to make a team member redundant imminently, informs them of how much they are valued, how much they bring to the team and have a great future should look in the mirror and ask – am I walking the talk? If that were me, what would be most important for me to hear right now? 

A former boss of mine who shall remain nameless to spare his blushes promised his entire leadership team that there would be proper consultation with them and their full involvement in the critical decision about restructuring the entire division and the markets they led. He agreed enthusiastically with them that this would take about 3 months in order that the work be done properly and all options considered. The minute they walked out the room at the end of the meeting he turned around to me and shared his plan and decision. His response to being challenged was “ they don’t have to know:.

This may be an extreme example, but there may be many, many more smaller examples of this happening all around us be it at work or at home.  If so, is it any wonder that engagement surveys aren’t delivering on their promise? It takes more than a tick in a box to have your people be engaged.