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Building a high engagement culture

Elissa Farrow
January 29, 2013

In this series, Elissa Farrow charts the importance of high engagement for your project team and how that engagement translates into project success down the line.

To me, employee engagement is all about solid commitment, leading to greater work effort and staff retention. In organisations I have worked in, engagement covers both the emotional and the rational commitment levels.

Emotional engagement relates to the meaning people personally receive from their organisation or their manager, for example enjoyment or inspiration and so on. Rational engagement focuses on how an organisation keeps the best interests of people in focus and how they are rewarded, for example financially or developmentally etc.

Best practice research suggests that employees stay with their organisation when they believe it is in their self- interest, but are more ‘effective’ in delivery when they believe in the value of their role in an organisation. It has been suggested that emotional engagement is four times more valuable than rational engagement in driving employee effort.

The Corporate Leadership Council in 2004 (CLC 2004) outlined 25 levers of engagement cut across three categories:

  1. Day-to-day work;
  2. Organisational culture; and
  3. Manager characteristics.

So we can target these levers of engagement in our change management processes, I will outline the these over my next three blog posts: stay tuned.

Elissa Farrow
Elissa is a founder and lead consultant for About Your Transition and has extensive experience in strategic organisational adaptation design, facilitation and delivery. Elissa has supported organisations to define positive futures and then successfully transform to bring lasting benefits. She has proven adaptative capacity and can successfully transfer her skills to different contexts. In 2018, Elissa commenced her doctoral studies through the University of the Sunshine Coast. Her published research is exploring organisational adaptation to the evolving field of artificial intelligence using qualitative and participatory research methodologies. Elissa is an experienced board director and considered a thought leader in her field having won a number of national and local awards for contributing to Women in Project Management and for Change Management Research.
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