Thursday, February 14, 2008

Importance of engagement

I had the opportunity to sit in my daughter's playgroup class and it was interesting watching how the children behaved when the teacher gave them her complete attention and when the teacher was distracted by something. For example let us say one of the kids started to cry, this distracted the teacher just briefly but that was enough for a couple of kids to go to the toy chest and throw all the toys around, another couple of kids to start a fight, one started to scream and this triggered off a few more screaming kids and it then took about 15 min to again put order in the room.

Another thing I noticed in the class was that if the teacher did something that did not engage all the children then the others that were not attended to started to do their own thing.

I realised that this is not very different to how it is in the workplace. If you do not engage all the employees they all tend to drift away into their own worlds. It is very important as a manager to understand the wavelength of the team and to keep them engaged and interested. At the same time it is important to give each and every member of the team attention - if there are employees that feel that they are not getting enough attention they tend to drift away. So it is important at every level of hierarchy in the organization that the manager keeps the level under him focused, motivated and engaged. And this starts from the top - if the top of the organization is focused, motivated and engaged all the other levels will follow suit.

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