From Paper Clips to Super Glue – Where’s your employee engagement?

When I think about employee engagement, I picture a continuum that, going left to right increases in adherence capability. Imagine you have lined up the following, left to right:

A paper clip

A sticky note

A strip of Velcro

A bottle of super glue

Levels of Stickyness

Each one of these represent a team member’s level of engagement. The paperclip has the least commitment to the team, the job duties, and the organization. A small gust of wind (an irritation or shinier object) would send him flying off in any direction. This is your disengaged person. 

The sticky note can be affixed but easily peeled. These are the somewhat engaged employees. They are inconsistent in their engagement. One day they’re firmly engaged with the team and the organization, but when things go wrong or when they’re working with a paper clip (disengaged person) they can easily move in that direction on the continuum. 

Then we have the Velcro. Pretty solid adherence in the right location. They do a good job of staying the course of engagement, and overall perform the job well. These are your engaged employees. You can count on them to do the job consistently. 

And finally comes the superglue. These are your fully engaged team members that are rock-solid and have the greatest holding power. They show real ownership and commitment. They serve the organization, the team and the mission with a passion. 

Look around your team and ask yourself if you have paper clips and sticky notes among your Velcro and Superglue. They could be weakening the strength of the team and performance outcomes. 

Coaching is the key to filling your team with Velcro and Superglue, but the techniques vary by level of engagement. Leaders must learn how to spot and coach differently at each level of engagement. 

Learn how to coach for employee engagement in Be the Leader Nobody Wants to Leave. The transformational skill-builders teach  you how to spot the levels of engagement and coach for the best performance. The next cohort begins 10/29/20. 

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