The Power of Hidden Teams.


What, exactly, is engagement? At a gut level we know that it has something to do with how involved people are in their work and how enthusiastic they are about it. But by defining engagement more precisely as a set of attitudes, we have been able to measure it — and understand its impact on performance. From research beginning at the Gallup Organization in the 1980s and 1990s, and continued since then by many others (including both of us), we know that certain employee attitudes can help predict productive employee behaviors, and that companies and managers and individuals can take action to improve or change those attitudes. We also know that the attitudes seem to cluster around consistent themes, such as a clear sense of purpose, a commonly held notion of what’s valuable or important, feelings of psychological safety, and confidence about the future. We know that when we find these clusters expressed in one person, one team, or one company, we can label that expression “engagement.” Finally, we know that engagement — when measured using a few precisely worded statements about the employee’s own feelings and experiences — identifies a situation at work that leads to productivity, innovation, retention, and much more.



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