The Rules Of Engagement

The Rules Of Engagement

Workplace engagement is a two-way street.

How engaged are you with your work, your team, your higher-ups? I asked Chuck Bolton—leadership coach and author of The Reinvented Team: Three Keys to Excellence In A Disruptive World—to share insights. His take: “Engagement is a two-way street between employee and employer.”

Reinvention vs. engagement

First, ask yourself if you’ve done your best to get engaged. Next, he says, “ask yourself how you have reinvented the way you operate to stay relevant and create value for your employer.” In other words, focus on reinvention instead of engagement.

Bolton’s take is we live in a disruptive world: “We either disrupt or someone will do so for us.” The manager’s role in this, says Bolton, is to model reinvention while also teaching how to do so.

If you are a leader in your organization, “ask yourself if employee X has the skill and will to reinvent.” Based on those answers, you and any employee can make year-end decisions that will better shape the new year. This also may be a time for the leader and the employee to take stock of whether a current position is the right fit for all concerned.

US Bank’s two-way handshake

US Bank has an employee relationship that “must be mutually beneficial to make it work,” says Mary Blegen, US Bank executive director of employee engagement and leadership development.

The bank “focuses on culture and communication for recruitment as well as retention,” explains Michael Walsh, vice president of public relations for US Bank Wealth Management. Its culture is based on five core values:

Do the right thing; Power potential. Stay a step ahead. Draw strength from diversity. Put people first.

The bank’s recent employee engagement score is 77 percent, which is in IBM Kenexa’s top 25 percent of all companies. According to that same index, US Bank’s manager effectiveness score is 83 percent, which is in the top tenth of all companies.

Take stock and take charge

Talking with these folks made me want everyone to work for US Bank. They shared three concepts, which I suggest you use when you plan for reinvention:

  1. Be willing to be vulnerable.
  2. Know your gifts.
  3. Be accepting of things you are not good at.

Once you make this self-assessment, give yourself time to make needed changes. If you see good results in 2016, celebrate. If not, think about whether a new path is best. Positive steps for your own personal brand mean all conversations stay two-way and honest.

Roshini Rajkumar is a communication coach, host of News & Views on WCCO Radio and author of Communicate That! For additional communication tips, visit