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Timothy Clark, in his book The Employee Engagement Mindset asks the question “How do you learn engagement from someone who’s disengaged? You don’t. That’s like trying to learn French from a Spanish teacher. People simply can’t teach you what they don’t know.”
The Employee Engagement Mindset attempts to understand the key to high engagement, by studying those who are already highly engaged – rather than attempting to fill in the gaps. Clark studied 150 highly engaged employees across 50 different organisations and 13 different industries to unlock the top three secrets to how the best do engagement differently.
Almost all (99 per cent) of the of highly engaged employees surveyed reported embracing the approach that “I’m responsible for my own engagement”. Meanwhile most disengaged employees put the engagement onus on the organisation; “It’s my manager’s/organisation’s job to keep me engaged”. These findings are reflected in RedBalloon’s hiring process, which reflects a desire to hire people who live and breathe the company values above all else.
At RedBalloon, we’ve always placed the highest emphasis on cultural fit when assessing candidates, which stems from the fact that our values inform everything we do as a business. This is what drives our employee engagement reality; we have a group of employees who all take responsibility for engaging themselves – we just give them the tools to make it possible.
They place emphasis on high performance to deliver results for them and the organisation.
Ultimately, an organisation’s brand promise is kept or broken by the employee. Highly engaged employees make the customer experience; disengaged employees break it. Employees always reveal their authentic level of engagement when dealing with the customer, which is why RedBalloon Founding Director Naomi Simson believes employees are the new customers.
The common thread here is that while the highly engaged mobilise themselves and will be engaged almost regardless of the environment or circumstance, leaders and organisations still have a key role to play in engaging their employees.