Engagement is a very popular concept in today’s world. From social media engagement to engaged staff and employees, and from communicators who are engaging through to those who are engaging constituents, everyone is in search of ways for themselves or their initiatives to get more of the E-word.
The danger might be that we think engagement is therefore a buzzword, but while fads and phrases come and go as the ‘new thing’, this is not the case for engagement. Rather as William Bernbach said, our concern should not with changing man, but with unchanging man – the things that truly drive and motivate us, regardless of the latest trends and fashions.
Engagement is part of unchanging humankind. It is the study and practice of touching upon what truly captivates us, and using that to unlock potential and drive change.
From entrepreneurs who build world changing products, to world leaders who inspire nations to follow them, and to educators that impart ideas to us, it is those individuals and organisations who draw the most engagement that make the biggest impact in this world.
Various studies have shown the impact of ‘fully engaged’ people upon organisations:
- Gallup research has found that customers who are fully engaged represent an average 23% premium in terms of share of wallet, profitability, revenue, and relationship growth over the average customer. In stark contrast, “actively disengaged” customers represent a 13% discount in those same measures.
- Companies that engage both their employees and their customers gain a 240% boost in performance-related business outcomes.
- Companies with high levels of employee engagement improved 19.2% in operating income while companies with low levels of employee engagement declined 32.7%
- Social connectedness correlates more strongly with wellbeing than social or economic characteristics such as long term illness, unemployment or being a single parent.
The upmost skill for change-making leaders of today, then, is the skill of engaging others. Without this ability, our ideas will remain as just ideas, and the benefit that they could have on our communities will be unrealised.
Luckily, engagement is a skill we can learn.