Tuesday, July 27, 2010

4 Behavioural Patterns that describe Different Characteristics of Employee Engagement. ACTIVELY ENGAGED EMPLOYEES. ACTIVELY DISENGAGED EMPLOYEES

The degree to which people demonstrate a positive attitude and their type and levels of activity can be translated into likely engagement patterns. There are 4 simple behavioural patterns that can be seen in regard to engagement.

Employees defined as ‘stars’ have a positive attitude to change and are action oriented. They have high energy, enthusiasm and make discretionary effort. They are realistic about obstacles they encounter and how to overcome them.
Stars are fully engaged with the organization. Their behaviour is characterized by:
?    giving discretionary effort to serve the customer;
?    seeing the silver lining hidden beneath the dark clouds;
?    viewing change as a challenge and opportunity;
?    treating life as a continuous learning experience;
?    expanding their personal comfort zone.
Stars tend to:
?    feel comfortable with the need for change;
?    be open to possibilities and ideas;
?    be optimistic about the long-term future;
?    like to be challenged and stretched;
?    be realists, not afraid of short-term mistakes or setbacks.

‘Cynics’ display a negative attitude and high levels of activity. This group are actively disengaged. They have a lot of energy and can be very vocal, but what they focus on is the negative – what is not working in the organization. They are keen to disassociate themselves from the organization and actively tell others why change won’t work.
Cynics’ behaviour is characterized by:
?    always seeing the negatives;
?    criticizing ideas and solutions;
?    expressing frustration;
?    focusing on the past: ‘We tried this five years ago…’
?    arguing against change;
?    being oblivious to the consequences of their negativity;
?    bringing other people such as the victims and yes men round to their perspective.
Cynics feel:
?    in the right and angry at the world for ignoring them;
?    frustrated when there is confusion and whingeing;
?    not listened to, excluded, constrained;
?    overtly confident in their own ability;
?    rebellious, determined to block change they do not own;
?    unsympathetic to the stress felt by others.

‘Yes men’ are characterized as neither actively engaged nor disengaged. They are the ‘coasters’, prepared to drift along, saying the right things but following things through with energy, passion or action.
Yes men are characterized by behaviour that is about:
?    avoiding taking risks;
?    keeping a low profile;
?    trying to ride things out without drawing attention to themselves;
?    acknowledging good ideas but being reluctant to change themselves.
Although Yes men may be positive about what is happening in an organization, they are reluctant to get involved. They feel threatened when too exposed and are comfortable to watch from the sidelines.

‘Victims’ can be described as having a negative attitude and lacking drive. This inactivity, coupled with their negative approach towards new ideas, leads to inertia. Although less vocal than cynics, they still are disengaged from the organization; everything is ‘done to them’, they do not take an active part in organizational life. However, unlike cynics they lack the energy or drive to vocalize this.
Victims react by:
?    avoiding confronting issues;
?    retreating into ‘safety’ – burying their heads in the sand;
?    avoiding risk, doing the minimum;
?    avoiding thinking about what might happen.
Victims may feel unhappy and/or depressed, overwhelmed by work, powerless and fearful of mistakes, but their lack of confidence means that they do not actively seek to find other employment or to improve their current working life.



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