Three of the major focal areas in business today are employee engagement, innovation, and leadership effectiveness. I believe these the concepts have a significant impact on organizational effectiveness and the overall success of an organization.

People are a Competitive Edge

It is important to know and understand that the only advantage an organization has over a competitor is its people. The people bring to organizations creativity, passion, leadership, productivity, energy, talent and more. If the people are inspired, accountable, connected, communicative, etc. organizational performance is elevated. Consciousness is where it begins. If the people are conscious the organization will be conscious, for the people make the decisions. The most conscious group within any enterprise must be leadership and management. If they are unconscious they will not be able to engage employees. If employees are not engaged, performance declines.

Perception is Powerful

Personal brand or the perception of leadership and management within the organization introduces additional barriers to employee engagement. If leadership and management are not perceived as approachable, open, competent, caring, trustworthy, etc. they will not bare fruit. The fruit effective managers and leaders should bear are engagement, retention, profitability, growth, productivity, efficiency, innovation and all of the other performance indicators one could list. Simply stated, if the leader is conflicted, not personally aligned, the people will see through this and it poses a barrier to engagement. I have yet to meet an inspiring conflicted leader. If they hold others accountable but fail to hold themselves to the same standard, they are doomed to ridicule and their leadership will be resisted. No fruit.

Employee Engagement is Everything

Part of employee engagement is developing and sustaining a relationship founded on mutual trust and respect. If the relationship between leadership, management, and employees does not embody mutual trust and respect, the end result is internal conflict between these constituencies, and the price is engagement.

Lastly, an organization that is not engaged in reflection related to its relationship with its employees is likely to become misaligned. Leadership and management may take the position that the employee is a cost center and not an asset and enact policies that erode engagement. Environments characterized by fear and insecurity often fail to bare the fruit of engagement. Employees generally want to be viewed as assets, developed like assets, and treated like assets.

There is a direct link between the concepts presented here and employee engagement. Investment in enhancing the ability of leaders and managers to engage employees produces fruit and fruit produces success.