Closing The Engagement Gap

Here's how to close one of the most important gaps any organization faces.

By Brent Filson - 2/2008

Volume 2, Number 6


Two of my sons and I saw the Army/Navy game together a few weeks ago. (One son is in the Army and the other the Marines [Navy], me sitting between them to promote family peace.) You’ve probably seen an Army/Navy spectacle on television; but you have to be there to appreciate the ardent commitment of the cadets that transforms pageantry into a stunning spectacle.

Clearly, when people are fervently committed to accomplishing a task, extraordinary results accrue. History, tradition, and the moment drove the cadet’s commitment. But what drives the commitment of the people in your organization? In fact, do those people show the motivated engagement needed to achieve extraordinary results?

According a report in the November issue of the Chief Learning Officer magazine, there is a significant “engagement gap” in many companies worldwide.

The new global workforce study conducted by Towers Perrin, a global professional services firm found that only 21 percent of employees believe their organizations or their senior management are doing enough to help them become fully engaged and contribute to their companies’ success.

Furthermore, the study also found that firms with the highest percentage of engaged employees collectively increased operating income 19 percent and earnings per share 28 percent year to year. Those companies with the lowest percentage of engaged employees showed year-to-year declines of 33 percent in operating income and 11 percent in earnings per share.

How might learning leaders lead the way in their corporations to close that gap? Here is a five-step process you can put into practice immediately and for the rest of your career.

Step One: Identify and validate the gap.

Get the key decision makers in your organization to recognize there is an engagement gap and that it must be closed.

As a learning leader, you have many survey tools at your disposal to make such recognition happen. The survey must have these requirements.
* The decision makers and you must agree on the protocol to obtain the data.
* The findings must be clear and unmistakable.
* The findings must be communicated to leaders of all ranks and functions.
* Validate the gap by defining the stakes regarding the engagement gap. In other words, do you and your senior leaders agree as to what would happen to your organization if the engagement gap is not diminished? Stakes drive urgency. Unless you and those leaders agree on the stakes you cannot go forward with the process.

Here’s a process for recognizing and closing stakes gaps. Go to page 16 in my free booklet 7 Steps To Leadership Mastery.

Step Two: Develop a strategy to close the engagement gap.

That gap can’t be closed by senior leaders simply ordering it to be closed.

All the parties concerned must be involved in the closing of it.

You know that a strategy is a plan, method or series of actions for obtaining a goal or specific outcome.

Want to know how a Leadership Strategy can guide you in closing an engagement gap.

Step Three: Develop systems and processes to execute the strategy.

One of the most effective ways to promote engagement is your organization is to saturate it with leaders who give Leadership Talks.

Here is what a Leadership Talk is:

Want to understand how to translate Leadership Talks into organizational effectiveness?

Want a system for saturating your organization with leaders giving many Leadership Talks a day?

This book has detailed plans on developing a “cascading of cause leaders.”

Step Four: Monitor and Evaluate.

Clearly, for any learning program to be successful it must have legs. It must be consistently and enthusiastically carried out by the participants.

Here is how to develop a “Leadership Contract” to insure your programs are carried out and that the monitoring and evaluation systems truly motivate the people who must institute them.

No doubt, the engagement gap exists to one degree or another in your organization. As a learning leader, you are the only person who can deal with it in a comprehensive, interlocking, crossfunctional way. When you recognize the gap’s existence, get senior leaders committed to closing it, and drive company-wide systems and processes to insure it is continually being closed, you are doing one of your most important functions.

© 2008, The Filson Leadership Group, Inc.

Note from Brent Filson: Strategy And Process Close Engagement Gaps. Developing an organizational culture in which people are ardently engaged is not simply a way of leadership but also a way of life—for you and your leaders. It takes a focused strategy and comprehensive, interlocking, results-oriented leadership processes. These processes must be executed continually. For nearly a quarter of a century, I’ve been developing such processes for companies worldwide. Please call, and let’s talk about how I can help you and your clients better deal with peer pressure while measurably enhancing their job performance as well as broadening and deepening their career paths.

$50,000 Guarantee:
I can help your individual leaders boost their job and career performance. For instance, check out our one-day Leadership Talk sessions that comes with a $50,000 guarantee.

Here’s a one-day session for leaders.

Here’s a one-day session for sales/marketing leaders.

Business Results:

Leadership is too important for the advancement of your client’s job performances and careers and also for the success of your company to have leadership development simply fulfill training objectives. For the past 22+ years, I’ve been helping leaders of all ranks and functions worldwide get great business results.

"Brent Filson knows how to help others get results! His programs are proven in a variety of settings including industry, government, non-profit and the military proving that the way he practices and coaches leadership can work for any organization willing to invest the time and energy necessary to influence their people to produce at their highest productivity levels.”
—Joe Javorski, Director, Worldwide Staffing, Analog Devices

Total Systems Solutions:

I can also help you help your leaders develop and execute unique, customized, total-solution systems for every function of your business.

“One of the key components of Brent’s methodologies is their tremendous value in driving monumental change through the leadership of others in the matrix supporting your cause. The actions of developing cause leaders has allowed ordinary teams in my organization to achieve extraordinary results.”
—Robert Cancalosi, Global General Manager, General Electric Medical

Lots Of Help On My Web Site:

On my web site, you’ll find many of my books, articles, interviews, course descriptions, and instruction methodologies that will help you in many ways boost your job performance and advance your career by helping your clients get the right results in the right ways.

Best wishes,

Brent Filson
Brent Filson