Drag - Employee Engagement.jpg

With a family of eight, we’ve had to learn to be efficient.  For instance, we rarely go to restaurants.  When we do venture out for special occasions, our “go to” spot is Chuy’s.  The waiter hands out menus and I immediately collect them back.  I order eight waters, two pounds of fajitas, and lots of napkins.

Traveling is similar.  We typically drive and if it is an extended one, like the 900 miles to Colorado, we strategically plot the day.  We pack meals, drinks, and snacks in both cars.  We only stop to refuel and restroom and make sure that everyone takes advantage of both opportunities at each stop.  Since we started Jeeping, we’ve added a necessity to each pit stop; cleaning bugs off the windshield.

I knew that part of the reason the mileage wasn’t great was due to the lack of aerodynamics of the Jeep, but I didn’t realize that the flat, almost vertical windshield was much of the culprit.  Not only do I have to de-bug the glass at every pit stop, I’ve already replaced the windshield once and need to do it again.  It is apparently a rock and debris magnet as well as a frequent landing pad for bugs.

At one of our monthly meetings last month with leaders of organizations, we were talking about employee engagement. 

Employee engagement is the above and beyond effort people could give if they wanted to.

It seems that most companies in America have a similar drag coefficient problem.  According to a recent survey:

  • 30% of employees are actively engaged
  • 52% are disengaged
  • 18% are actively disengaged

If you put it into rowing parlance (as this great video resource does), out of every ten employees at the average company, 3 are rowing forward aggressively, 5 are along for the ride, and 2 are actually trying to sink the boat!

Before you summarily reject that idea, take a hard look at your team.  I bet some thoughtful consideration and the discernment of the Spirit will help that dragging 20% come to mind almost immediately.  

Part of the way our enemy dulls us (just read "Screwtape Letters" by C.S. Lewis if that comment doesn't make sense to you) is to convince us that things aren’t as bad as they really are.  Some of those folks that you think are just kind of going through the motions are actually paddling against the flow of where you are trying to take your organization.  I bet if you ask your leadership team, they could drop the team into those three categories pretty easily.

Those that are actively engaged (30%) need to be honored, celebrated, and rewarded.  Those along for the ride (52%) need a plan to help them get more actively engaged.  Those actively rowing against you (18%) need to find someone else’s boat to sink.  Things are difficult enough without hauling dead weight around!

Like removing the dead bugs from a windshield, you and your team will not be able to see and realize the future in front of you until those that are clouding the picture are removed.

  • Watch the engagement video above.
  • Pray and discern which team members are in each category.
  • Invite your company leadership into the conversation and craft a plan to engage the disengaged, and remove the actively disengaged that are producing all that drag!