Think back to your childhood and remember these two scenarios.
1. Tidy your room
Your room is in an absolute mess. Your mother or father has been consistently telling you over a period of a week that you need to tidy it up. It's built up to a crisis point! "Tidy your room now!" you get told "otherwise there are no treats tomorrow".
Up the stairs you go, into your room, and mope around - picking up the odd toy or piece of clothing and lobbing it into a corner. You use your foot to sweep a load of toys under the bed and pick up a heap of clothes and put them in the laundry bin rather than fold them into your cupboards.
Your parents come in and inspect the room and reluctantly approve its cleanliness!
2. The room rearrangement
Sat in your room one day you decide that it's a bit boring the way it's laid out. Wouldn't it be cool if the bed was moved near the window, and the desk went over by the door? "Right, let's do it!" you say and immediately set to work heaving your bed, cupboard and drawers around.
As you start to put parts of your room back together it highlights the 'oldness' of other areas and so you start changing posters around, reorganise all the books in your bookcase and decide to present all your model cars on a shelf.
You run downstairs, "can I borrow the vacuum quickly?" and carry it upstairs past your mother who has fainted on the kitchen floor.
That night as you lie in your 'new room' you feel immense pride in your day's work.
Engagement super-sizes productivity
In the first scenario the 'work' is technically achieved and the room is cleaned, but in the second the objective is blown out the water giving everyone concerned real pride in the result.
As a manager it is easy to look across at your team and let yourself off the hook by saying that they are getting the work done - but can you look yourself in the mirror and say your team are as engaged as our room re-arranger?
So how do you foster this engagement and passion in your team? The main difference between the two scenarios is that in the second one you want to do the work, you have come up with the idea and you have the vision for the solution.
As a manager this is where really good delegation comes in - providing your team with the responsibility and trust to solve problems on their own as opposed to dictating a course of action.
When you look at your team do you see scenario 1 or 2? What suggestions have you got for developing an engaged team? We'd love you to share your ideas with the Kebuki community.