Workplace Engagement Starts with Respect

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workplace engagement

Workplace Engagement Starts with Respect

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The chicken or the egg? Everyone wonders. Workplace engagement isn’t as challenging, but it may not always start in the manner that you think.

I didn’t like green beans as a kid, probably because they weren’t sweet enough. Today, I value their importance in a well-balanced diet and I’m sure to eat a few.

When it comes to the work at hand, people are often not sure whether they will like it or not. Can there be situations where after they explore it, check it out, and give it a try, they’re interested to do more?

Workplace Engagement

Engagement doesn’t always start with the notion that it will be fun and engaging, sometimes people grow into it.

It’s common for someone to dislike the new software release. “It’s awkward. Where is my old screen that showed everything near the top?”

The same is often true for the process change. “We’ve never done it this way. I don’t think this is going to work.”

Engagement doesn’t always start by making it attractive enough. It doesn’t always begin with confidence and a roaring stream of energy.

Sometimes engagement develops by getting ingrained in the process. Passion develops from the understood purpose. The feeling of accomplishment.

Many people want to understand that their work will make a difference, that it matters, and as people, they are needed and valued because it does.

Connect with Respect

Dressing up or sugar coating that there is work to be done and let’s get motivated about it doesn’t guarantee engagement. In fact, once that excitement wears off, people are waiting for you to excite them again. And bigger this time.

Respect will go a long way towards the gratitude of the offer for work to be done. Consider, “We could sure use your expertise on this one.”

Engagement forms when there is a connection to the contribution. It all starts with respect.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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