Enough of people talking about engagement for the purposes of enabling employees to put in more discretionary effort!

That’s like saying “You’re working hard, but if you get what’s going on around here then you’ll feel like working even harder.”

It’s as if all the clock-watchers out there are on the cusp of working that extra 15 minutes because they could if they felt like it.

No. In my experience, engagement is about clarity and alignment. With this, employees will do less work to achieve more. And they’ll feel better about it because they won’t be spending time barking up the wrong trees or having to second guess what’s going on. They will be feel like they’re in the loop, heard, respected, and all the more effective for it.

Then they might start being more innovative, assertive, and positive because it’ll be safer to do so. That’s not discretionary effort, it’s effective management.