MAGIC IN THE ROOM PODCAST #16 – ENGAGEMENT WITH SPECIAL GUEST BOB SCHOOLEY

In this episode, Luke and Chris are joined by Dr. Bob Schooley, SVP, Organizational Effectiveness Practice at Purpose & Performance Group to discuss the causes and effects of employee engagement, and what leaders can do to foster greater engagement by enhancing the employee experience.

Bob has spent his entire career helping organizations identify, attract, develop, and retain talent. He has also designed and implemented successful programs focused on orientation, onboarding, career planning, performance management, succession planning, and development programs for high-potential employees. In today’s episode, your hosts learn from his deep experience of the employee life cycle and much more.

Have you ever wondered what the secret sauce is between learning in a classroom and getting it to go live and gain traction within an organization? Obtain a greater understanding of who succeeds and who will struggle? Although Bob doesn’t claim to know the secret to that translation, he understands the merit in meeting people halfway. He explains that you’ve got to realize that when you’re working with someone or trying to help them get to it the next level, you have to be incredibly patient.

Bob reveals that leaders need to ask the right questions rather than pretending to know all of the answers to help people discover what they need to move forward. When someone is engaged, they will go beyond the call of duty. They’re going to do things without having to be asked. It also encourages people to accept personal responsibility and accountability for improving everything around them.

However, Bob warns it’s not all plain sailing, and there is a tipping point. For example, in most organizations today, there are more disengaged people than engaged; the average number you hear is a 60-40 split. So, if you have ten employees, the odds are that four of them will be engaged. They’re giving you that discretionary effort and coming up with great ideas. They’re doing all sorts of amazing things. But then you’ve got six that fall in this disengaged category.

The reality is that disengaged employees outgun you. It’s a numbers game, and you’ve got to be continually looking at the disengaged to find the tipping point. For anyone curious about employee engagement or committed to increasing the engagement of their team, Luke advises that it’s all about execution.

A quick Google search will improve your understanding and the science behind engagement within an hour. But what is difficult is taking action every day, asking the hard questions, and changing policy accordingly. It would help if you held the leaders in your organization accountable for providing a place where the highest performers can get what they need and are empowered to perform at their best level.

If you’re a frontline supervisor, you have a responsibility to be asking these questions. If you’re the CEO, you have a responsibility to create the organization that people can bring their discretionary effort. All the research clearly shows that if you do this, everyone wins, the employees win, and you’re going to succeed as a business owner or leader.

Chris encourages the listeners of this podcast episode to challenge their thinking around engagement. Who is that 25-year-old superstar in your organization, that you should double promote tomorrow?  Find that person and celebrate it. In doing so, you are also showing other people what is possible.

These are just a few areas that your hosts cover in this episode. But please share your experiences and insights by commenting below.

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