Talent Talk

Take an 'Engagement Selfie'

Kevin Sheridan

Earlier this year I took this selfie, and it prompted me to think that every worker needs to regularly take an “engagement selfie” — one of the best ways to ensure that every employee is ready to lead. If you’re not familiar with what this is, let me explain and empower you and your organization.

 Kevin Sheridan selfie


The Problem With Old-Fashioned “Engagement Groupies”

Like Ellen’s famous Oscar selfie — or “groupie” as some called it — employers have been taking snapshots of employee engagement for years by conducting surveys, which group individual responses to protect respondents’ confidentiality, in order to assess overall engagement. I call these “engagement groupies.” In this process, responsibility for and ownership of engagement rests on the shoulders of the employer, creating a paternalistic model where employees have no ownership of nor responsibility for their own engagement.

Any relationship should be a two-way street. Whether it’s family, friends, club, place of worship or community connections, the people involved must give and take to maintain healthy relationships. If one person is always taking and never giving back, others will likely feel the relationship is unbalanced and unfair.

In a work setting, a large part of employees’ engagement stems from their personal choices. I believe each of us wakes up in the morning empowered with the choice of approaching the day and our job with optimism and engagement, negativity and disengagement, or the apathy that lies in the middle of this engagement continuum.

Are You Making Your Own Luck?

As an entrepreneur, I have a very special appreciation for the importance of self-engagement. Anyone who has started a company from scratch could spend hours reciting all the challenges and barriers that threatened the ultimate success of their venture. Almost every successful entrepreneur I’ve known will credit their success to determination and perseverance during the times when all indicators suggested the venture was doomed to fail. Choosing optimism and passionate engagement is what carried them through.

“Luck is the point at which opportunity meets preparation” is a quote attributed to many people, including first-century Roman philosopher Seneca and famed American media mogul Oprah. Whoever said it first had it right, though.

Think about it. Do you make an effort to make your own luck, or are you waiting for it to appear from out of nowhere?

Why Every Employee Should Take an Engagement Selfie

New situations pose new challenges, and accepting a new challenge begins with choosing an attitude to deal with it. Instead of choosing the road to victimhood and disengagement, we can empower ourselves and choose positivity and engagement.

Try it. Take this free engagement selfie, which will confidentially reveal how engaged you are as an employee, as well as give you useful tips on what you can do on your own to become more engaged at work.

Taking engagement groupies is now passé and antiquated. Still, most organizations aren’t rebalancing ownership of employee engagement to be shared between employer and employees.

Gone are the days when all responsibility was placed on the company. It’s now time we rebalance the ownership of employee engagement by empowering employees to see how engaged they really are and get useful advice on how they themselves can have a powerful effect on their own engagement.


Kevin Sheridan has spent 30 years as a high-level Human Capital Management consultant. He has helped some of the world’s largest corporations break down detrimental processes and rebuild a culture that fosters productive engagement, earning him several distinctive awards and honors in the process. Kevin’s premier creation, PEER®, is consistently recognized as a long overdue, industry-changing innovation in the field of Employee Engagement, and his most recent book, “Building a Magnetic Culture,” made the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today best-seller lists, among others. You can reach Kevin Sheridan on Twitter (@kevinsheridan12) or by email (kevin@kevinsheridanllc.com).


Tags: employee engagement; engagement survey; self assessment;