Did You Break Off Your Engagement? (with employees)

Sometimes it’s hard for companies to remember that employees are assets to the company – not expenses.

But employees themselves seem to be on a mission to remind companies of that very fact.  The Great Resignation came to be during the chaos of the pandemic as people redefined the meaning of work and their place in it.  HBR even renamed the phenomenon and the new perspective as “The Great Rethink”.

Pre-thinking ahead to 2023, the need for business leaders and managers to meaningfully re-engage with their employees will likely be a significant competitive differentiator.  And the post-Covid approach to work (live, remote, and hybrid) is presenting equally significant business challenges including disengaged employees, lack of understanding of missions and strategies, and low morale.

Maybe it’s time for companies to throw out the same old, same old and revamp their approach to employee engagement.

In August of 2022, PriSim ran a live event for a large aerospace and defense company – the first live event in two years for many of the participants.  The power of the event being held live was evident with people working closely together, seeking each other out for conversations and networking, and not doing what they did pre-Covid: jumping on their phones/laptops at the breaks to communicate with others outside of the room – they really wanted to be there in the moment.  Talk about employee engagement…

But what were the factors that produced that engagement?  As author Simon Sinek has said, start with the ‘why’, and then move to the ‘what’ and the ‘how’:

  1. The ‘why’: PriSim’s classes help companies meaningfully engage their leaders and managers whether live, virtual, or hybrid making them feel valued and part of a larger whole, and ultimately giving them the confidence and the skills to improve business performance.
  2. The ‘what’: PriSim delivers computer-based business simulation classes.
  3. The ‘how’: PriSim’s classes engage participants in business decision-making competitions combined with lectures and discussions.

Notice that while the ‘why’ has changed, nothing is different in the ‘what’ or the ‘how’.  The service and solution are not new, but are now helping solve a new challenge – employee engagement in a post-Covid world.

If companies can restate, update, and clarify the ‘why’ of the work they offer, and how their employees can engage with that work, then maybe we’ll see The Great Re-Engagement in 2023.  But a sidenote for those companies with a swath of employees they still view as expenses rather than assets and that think it’s time for The Great Layoff (case in point: Goldman Sachs) – at least try to do it right.  HBR also says that most companies get layoffs wrong.

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