Are you getting Return on Engagement?

Are you getting Return on Engagement?

by Kriss Akabusi

What’s the most important resource in your business?  Your people, of course!  So imagine if there was a way to get the very best out of your people that, in turn, improved their experience and strengthened your business…


That’s Return on Engagement.


Now we’ve all heard of Return on Investment (RoI).  But what about Return on Engagement (RoE)?  Instead of dealing in quantitative terms, Return on Engagement is all about the qualitative, and believe me, the companies who invest in their people get a massive RoE!


Think of every person you employ.  Each one comes with a basket of talent, skills and personality traits they can choose to use in their day-to-day responsibilities.  But we also all have something called ‘discretionary effort’ – when a person chooses to go above and beyond their job title and the work they do – going the extra mile.


And very often the root cause of whether an employee applies discretionary effort or not is not down to them, but down to you – their employer, manager, or supervisor.


Because when that leader engages with the employee in a way that matters to them, the employee is more likely to apply discretionary effort.  They’ll constantly think about who they are, what they have to offer and how it affects the community they belong to – and that’s when they’ll go the extra mile to bring you a return on your engagement.


Engaging your employees in a way that matters to them

Now, there are no hard and fast rules as to how you engage someone, because we’re ultimately all individuals.  What engages one person may completely disengage another!


This is where it’s important to think of our Motivational Maps.  By really understanding what drives your employees, what motivates them in life, then you can begin to engage them in a way that matters to them.


So, say one of your employees is a Friend-Connector.  You’d get an instant return by simply engaging with that person on a day-to-day basis – scheduling meetings, dropping by their office to say hello, asking them about their family or seeing how their week’s been.  Show them you’ve been thinking about them, and they’ll go singing out of your office and go that extra mile for you.


Or perhaps an Expert-Defender, who’s hugely driven by knowledge and relishes the chance to hone their expertise, having time and space to do so.  Book them on to a course to learn about a new piece of software or a new policy in their area.  Show them you’ve thought about their desire to learn and become an expert in their field, and facilitate that for them.  They’ll forever thank you for it!


Ultimately, it’s all about understanding what drives your people, and from there, engaging with them at their level in a way that matters most to them.


For me, I appreciate autonomy – I love being left to my own devices to manage a task as I see best.  However, give autonomy to an employee who thrives under direction and you may end up completely disengaging them by accident!  There’s no one-size-fits-all here.  You have to understand those colleagues first if you want to guarantee RoE.


Transforming your business with RoE

When a workforce is fully engaged, the effects on the business can be truly astonishing.  After all, if every single one of your employees felt truly connected with you, your brand, and your business objectives – and will go that extra mile to help you realise them – they will give a truer representation of your company in all they do.  There’s a real sense of teamwork, a common purpose – and that’s where your returns come in.


I use the analogy of our 4 x 400m relay team.  When we won that race in Tokyo, we were four guys engaged around the same dream – to be world champions.  But it wasn’t just us.  Our coaches – Mike Smith, Tony Hadley, and John Isaacs – had invested heavily in the same dream.  They worked tirelessly to engage us all at every stage.  They engaged in our training, our psychology, our physiotherapy.  They engaged in the whole journey, pulling everything together in one team effort.  And that engagement led to the creation of world champions.


Once your employees have a real sense of purpose in the bigger picture, you get the best out of them. I love the story of when President Kennedy visited NASA in 1962 and asked a janitor what he was doing.  The reply was “Well, Mr President, I’m helping put a man on the moon.” Now, how’s that for RoE?!


Helping your business harness RoE

Getting the best possible RoE isn’t easy, but it’s possible – and that’s where I can help.  It’s certainly a top-down process in a business, and with my support, I can help you and your senior team really engage with your key resource.


It’s about finding the best way to get the most from your people, inspiring them with something that resonates with them.


Whether that’s exciting and inspiring them from a stage, or helping them engage with the moment through a one-to-one session, I’ll step in to help release the potential in others.  I’ll engage, I’ll connect, I’ll enthuse, I’ll excite, and I’ll inspire them to give you of their best!  


As Theodore Roosevelt said, “Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.”  You may sincerely care about your employees and want to get the best from them, but unless you show them you care, they’ll never know.


And there’s simply no better way to show them you care than by engaging and inspiring them with something that truly matters to them.  And once you do, that’s when you’ll see Return on Engagement!


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The Akabusi Company
01525 237177