The last two posts addressed the challenge of getting your people engaged. It assumes that most of these people aren’t engaged already and in my experience, that’s probably true. But what about the people who are engaged? Do you simply count yourself lucky with these employees and spend your time elsewhere?
Truth be told, the engaged population can be just as much of a challenge as those you’re trying to get through to. Sound strange? Then I invite you to think about someone you’ve worked with or managed who always seems to be moving in a slightly different direction from the rest, who proactively works on tasks that don’t really fit, who bombards you with questions or emails. Most of the time, these are the folks that are really engaged.
So why are they causing more issues than they’re solving? Because the organization probably hasn’t reciprocated their engagement. Give these folks a few bits of insight and they’re off an running. But without the full picture, they’re likely not running in the right direction. Or they’re duplicating efforts being performed elsewhere. Or they’re simply a few steps ahead of the rest of the organization and that can be as big a morale problem as people left behind. We all need to be on the same page.
While the challenge is different, it still requires management and leadership time. Instead of being a salesman and trying to get the vision across so your employees buy in, you need to carefully channel the energy and direction of these people so you’re benefitting from their engagement instead of letting it cause problems. Like the saying goes, it’s a good problem to have but still a problem if not handled correctly.