"Engagement" has become a huge workplace buzzword in recent years. Employers aim to have everyone from the C-suite to the entry-level frontlines engaged – or fully invested and participating – in the company's daily operations. But have you ever heard of being in-gaged?
The concept of "ingaged" leadership is outlined by Evan Hackel, a serial entrepreneur and former CEO of Tortal Training, in his book "Ingaging Leadership: 21 Steps to Elevate Your Business" (Motivational Press, 2016). The "I" in ingaged stands for "involved," said Hackel, who describes ingaged leadership as "a philosophy for leaders who believe that it is not enough to tell people what to do, but to involve their minds, hearts, creativity and emotions."
Traditionally, engaged leadership means involving everyone in the decision-making process. Ingaged leadership takes this one step further: Rather than simply giving everyone a part in the execution phase, ingaged leaders focus on gathering and using employee input in the planning and design of innovative strategies.
It's important that leaders get employees involved in decision-making by allowing them to contribute ideas when the company is looking to incorporate changes, said Hackel.
After identifying what areas need to be improved, consult with employees who carry out the day-to-day activities. These employees will be the most familiar with the details of these problems and will be able to give insight on what causes problems, such as delays in processes, inefficiencies, etc.
Hackel noted that senior-level management tend to rely on executive reports and summaries that only give an overview of the issues, but valuable insights can often be gained by discussing issues with employees in the affected department.
By getting employees involved in these big decisions, leaders can increase employee motivation, loyalty and commitment to these initiatives. In simple terms, it will greatly decrease the number of disgruntled employees when implementing the changes.
Employees tend to be more accepting of a change they designed themselves than something that was forced upon them, Hackel said, and it results in greater cooperation across the board.
According to Hackel, some of the benefits of ingaged leadership include:
- Improved profits and growth
- Greater employee satisfaction and retention
- The ability to identify and solve issues faster
- A steady flow of better ideas from employees
- A more competitive, innovative and satisfying organization
As a leader, it is your duty to get your employees actively involved by communicating with them openly about the direction the company is headed, and then gather and utilize the input they give you to make informed decisions going forward.
"When you align people and create an organization where everyone works together in partnership, that organization becomes vastly more successful," Hackel told Business News Daily. "Think of a football team, where no players understand the upcoming play. Ingagement creates alignments for the team to perform."