If you’re like me, you spend a lot of time and effort trying to get executives to focus on the critical issue of employee engagement, which often competes for attention with other seemingly more important business priorities.
Generally, there is a gravitational pull that draws leaders’ attention to external forces, pressures and conflicts, at the direct expense of focusing on internal issues. Compounding this phenomenon is that while many leaders are brilliant in their functional areas of expertise, a surprisingly large number of them aren’t comfortable with the messy world of employee relations and communications. Human nature being what it is, this discomfort only serves to reinforce their focus on the external world.
More than once, I’ve asked the question: what can be more important than employee engagement? All organizations depend on their human resources for performance. Whatever the corporation’s challenges may be, it stands to reason that the quality and impact of its response is directly proportional to its level of internal engagement and alignment in reaching business goals.
Sometimes, the most important act of leadership an executive can make is to recalibrate the organization’s focus and acknowledge that running an organization with low employee engagement is like driving a car with one foot on the brake.