Engagement Fuels Creativity

To win in the marketplace, you must first win in the workplace

Doug Conant

The pace of a changing business landscape…

In today’s break neck pace, businesses are striving to come to market with new and different products, to win against their global competition.

Many are building innovation programs, looking to consultants and are creating new constructs of working, like implementing Agile or launching transformation programs. Standard steps that are action oriented and has lots of activity and change momentum.

Consider, is that change working at the foundation of your culture first? Are you building an engaged creative workforce?

When I talk about an engaged creative workforce, I am asking “are your employees truly in it to win it” as if it were their own business? Are they making decisions that are aligned and consistent with the strategy and customer outcomes you want to drive? Are they bringing new ideas to the forefront to try new things and solve problems as a team that are incented for joint success?

What are the current engagement rates in America?

In the 2018 Gallup study on U.S. Employee Engagement Trend, the good news is, results are improving from when the study first came out in 2000. The engaged percentage has gone up to 34% and the actively disengaged is down to 13%.

The engaged percentage has gone up to 34% and the disengaged is down to 13%


You may look at this and say …”hey that is pretty great”. However, if we look at the numbers another way, 53% of employees are not deeply rooted to their organization. 13% are actively disengaged and could be pulling morale down as they are unhappy in someway.

Now you can’t make everyone happy, sure, but 13% of a 500 person organization is 65 people. And if they are spread across the company, then it is a undercurrent of your culture, pulsing away, looking for opportunities to jump on the “told you so” movement when something might not go to plan or your trying to shift an organization to change their business model. And forget about taking risks, these disaffected and middlers are not going to risk their careers.

Therefore, the 34% that are engaged, are trying to move a mass of force of 53% of fence sitters and 13% of not going to help AT ALL.

Therefore, the 34% that are engaged, are trying to move a mass of force of 53% of fence sitters and 13% of not going to help AT ALL.

Now think about trying to create an engaged and creative company of employees, with that much pulling you down. This is where the culture you want to build, needs to be backed up with the LEADERS that can deliver.

Breaking through

If your leadership culture is a sea of “no”, “tried that before”, “we can’t experiment with that customer group”, “we don’t want to set a precedent”, you won’t be able to create a culture of engagement and creativity until you bring them on board first.

Some tips:

– promote, groom, teach and set clear expectations that leadership at all levels must build environments that support engagement and creativity

– align incentives, at all levels, to foster engagement and creativity, as well as, inclusion of diverse ideas across the organization

– ensure your company communications highlight stories of teams and employees that are creatively collaborating, shifting organizational engagement, and improving customer value

– create, publish, live and walk the values of the organization and keep them front and center

– build teams that are empowered to solve problems creatively and build a sense of belonging

-focus on building a culture of equity, so all voices are at the table

You may notice that the above tips are all about building the cultural environment for leaders, employees and teams to thrive. Your culture is the foundation of success, not the cherry on top.

Parting thoughts

Leadership creates the framework of a culture and employees are the heart. To achieve organizational success that is high on creativity and engagement, think about how you align the “head” and the “heart” to do great things together.

Lead and Shine Brightly!

Written by Samantha Johnson, Emerging Women NC – Lead Writer October 2019. Views my own.

Originally published Emerging Women NC on Linkedin at: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/emerging-women-nc_engagement-fuels-creativity-article-activity-6589970673765011456-ZvE6

Published by Samantha

I am a fierce advocate for women, and men, especially in business. I want you bright wonderfully talented people to find your voice, be confident and change the system from within.

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