The Engagement Zone

While speaking recently on how to ignite employee engagement, I found myself retelling one of my personal stories as a way of illustrating the benefits of having employees aligned around one single mission.

Last year, I spent six hours in the ER. I told the attending physician that either I was giving birth, or a very angry, toothy alien was gnawing through my innards in search of daylight.  Turns out, I had kidney stones. And once the pain medication kicked in, I began to appreciate other things about the hospital, like how this ER team functioned as one engaged unit.

The orderly named Jason carted me to x-ray, the whole time explaining where we were going and what I should expect. He had an easy and quick laugh which put me at ease and distracted me from my pain. Jason told me that he had tried to get a position within this particular hospital for more than two years because it had an excellent reputation for how it cared for its employees and its patients. Engagement shows in the way employees treat customers.

The CAT scan tech named Tom came from another regional hospital.  Tom told me he looked for openings within this hospital for nearly eight years before finding one. It seemed that few employees ever leave! When I told him how kind and caring everyone was being to me, he asked, “Can you be sure to tell your nurses? I’m sure they would appreciate hearing that personally.” Engagement shows in the way employees care about their colleagues.

I recognized one of my nurses named Jill, who months before shaved her head alongside me to raise money for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. I noticed that Jill demonstrated the same sweet, personable nature outside the “office” that she brought with her in life. Engagement shows in the way that employees are encouraged to be themselves at work each day.

Another nurse named Tracie came to work at this hospital six months before from another regional hospital. While monitoring my vitals and making me comfortable, she told me, “What a difference!” when she compared the hospital administrators at her last job with those at her current one. She described her leaders by repeatedly using the word “FANTASTIC!”, and she confided that she planned to retire in this job. Engagement shows in the way employees talk about their organizations and their leaders.

Dr. Wilson, the knowledgeable, charismatic ER doctor, became a hero of mine. Yes, I had a little man-crush on him, perhaps in part because of the medication he prescribed me. But more that, I never imagined he had other patients. He took his time with me, answering questions, and even making me laugh. Engagement shows in the way that every member of the team–regardless of level or role–brings their best game to work. 

What do hospitals have in common? They employ people with similar degrees: M.D.s, R.N.s, L.P.N.s, etc. They use similar tools and technologies like X-rays, syringes, examination tables, drugs. They have processes and protocols, administrators and ambulances. What separates good hospitals from great ones? The best have engaged employees who rally around a single, unifying mission.

Getting your employees into the ENGAGEMENT ZONE–the place where fantastic outcomes are realized–requires a savvy leader, a leader with…

  • the power to create a mission that focuses employee efforts to what matters most to the business,
  • the power to craft a high engagement environment regardless if the industry handles healthcare solutions, high tech gadgets or secondhand clothes, and
  • the power to connect employee passions with customer needs.

As a leaders, you have the opportunity and the responsibility to unleash the full potential of your employees.

Ready to take your engagement-building skills and the engagement levels of your employees to the next level? Contact me today for a free consultation!



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *