Natural vs. Unnatural Engagement

by Jay Deragon on 02/26/2013

Facebook-Twitter-Engagement-ConversionThere is a lot of chatter around “engagement”. From brands trying to engage customer, employers trying to engage employees and people engaging with each other, the subject appears to be the latest discovery from those in the building. Yet engagement is natural for those outside the building.

When I am hanging out with my family we are engaging in conversations, activities and sometimes the simplicity of silence. When I publish a blog post I am engaging with the marketplace of conversations by sharing my thoughts and ideas. When I am on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Google + I am engaging with people and content. The process of engagement is as natural to the human DNA as breathing. Some engage a lot and some a little. Some engage eloquently and others stumble in dysfunction. However all engage in a natural sort of way.

There are books written about online engagement using social technology.  There are thousands of blog post, white papers, YouTube videos and Tweets talking about brands engaging buyers.  It seems that all this content about engagement is created, distributed and made popular but those that don’t think engagement is natural to the human network.

Taking Engagement Seriously

An Inc. Magazine article titled “Your Employees Just Aren’t That Into You” states: If you think employee engagement is one of those warm and fuzzy phrases found in the self-help aisle, think again. According to new research, not only should you be taking employee engagement seriously, it’s probably already a problem within your company. And you might be to blame.

A recent study by Dale Carnegie and MSW Research polled a national representative sample of 1,500 employees across a wide range of industries and found only 29% of respondents to be fully engaged.

Disengaged employees clocked in at 26% and a majority of workers fell somewhere in-between (ie putting in the minimal amount of effort to achieve expected results.) That means nearly half of employees aren’t really into their jobs. This adds up to literally billions in losses–the Bureau of National Affairs estimates that U.S. businesses lose $11 billion annually due to employee turnover.

Natural engagement comes naturally. Unnatural engagement comes from something lacking human qualities or in other words inhuman.  Those who engage naturally resist those whom try and engage unnaturally.

Organizations and brands have a history of not naturally engaging employees, buyers and suppliers. The reason why the human network doesn’t take engagement from them seriously is because they don’t act human.

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