Engage Your Core…at the Gym AND at Work?
In my yoga class last night, the instructor kept reminding us to engage our core. This is something she often says, but I really focused on it this time during a challenging balance pose. Wow – was I amazed by the impact it made on my ability to successfully sustain the position!
As an experienced talent management professional, this immediately hit me as a “duh” moment. I have been practicing yoga on and off for years – why in the world did it take this long for that simple piece of advice sink in? I preach this same concept day-in and day-out in my work life – the power of engaging your people “core” in the workplace. After all, an organization’s people and people practices are core to its success.
The benefits gained by engaging certain muscles during exercise can be directly translated into the value gained from engaging your employees in the workplace:
- It provides support by lessening stress from your sometimes over-worked primary “muscles.” Take the heat off your managers and executive team by engaging your individual contributors.
- Just as it enabled me to sustain my balance for a longer period of time, engaging your workforce helps you move from short-term gains to longer-term, sustainable business success.
- It leads you toward the achievement of desired results. Engaging my core in yoga helped me finally sustain a difficult balance pose I had been struggling with for months. Similarly, fostering a highly engaged workforce will not only help your company meet its annual objectives but also some of your more lofty stretch goals as well.
But (big but!)…
- It’s not easy. It takes effort – real effort – so prepare yourself for a workout!
- It requires the leaders of the company to make the conscious decision to commit. You can’t do engagement half-way and expect added value – you’re either in or out.
Ready to start increasing revenue, market share, and retention? Great! Here are three steps to get started:
1. Conduct an assessment.
You need to establish a baseline. How engaged is your workforce currently? What key drivers of engagement are you excelling in and what others might you need to improve? Do your results differ per demographic – business unit, tenure, gender, age, role? In order to focus your efforts strategically, you need to know the answers to these questions.
Several vendors specialize in engagement surveys. I’d be happy to make a referral based on personal experience if you would like to reach out to me through the Contact page.
2. Research best practice.
Start eating up all there is to know about employee engagement by reading articles, attending webinars, and talking with members of your professional associations. Jot down ideas and key take-aways and think about how you could apply the concepts and sample programs/activities at your company.
3. Develop a strategy and action plan.
Now that you’re armed with meaningful data from the first two steps above, begin developing your informed strategy and detailed action plan. Put metrics in place to monitor the effectiveness of your efforts. Continually revisit and adjust your plan as necessary.
So what are you waiting for? Start engaging your core today!