Engagement is a pledge.
The deal though is no longer safety, money, and certainty in exchange for work, compliance, and loyalty.
We understand well enough that workers nowadays need to put in something more than mere hours, textbook task completion, checkbox performance. We ask them to be creative, innovative, collaborative, personal, candid, proactive.
What we struggle to understand, instead, is that the way to incentivize that has changed as well.
So, the next time you lead a project, a change, an enterprise ask yourself what your side of the pledge is.
Is it keeping everyone in the dark until the big reveal? Is it making all of the key decisions? Is it allocating five minutes at the end of the next meeting for everyone to share what they think? Is it distributing information to create hierarchies and factions?