An example of how engagement works – or in this case -doesn’t

Two examples in the past week go to illustrate the difference an engaged employee can make.

The first was a lunch date, where after some discussion with the wonderful waiter, a type of perfumed tea was suggested and agreed. When it was delivered (by another waitress), it was literally plonked in front of me. No explanation, no ceremony. Which was a shame because it came with a beaker of hot water, a little pod of flower buds & a strainer. My attempt to put it all together went horribly awry. The first waiter walked past & observed.. “Did she not explain to you how it all worked?”.. “She had not”, I explained. “Let me bring you a fresh one & let’s start again”, he says, duly replacing it & then explaining with care & due ceremony how it all worked.. It was a pleasure to experience it..

Fast forward a few nights later & we are out at a fancy steakhouse.. Our (expensive) steak arrives already cut in pieces. It’s not plonked this time but there’s no explanation for the precut up steak. I ask the waiter who says he doesn’t speak English.. He gestures helplessly & walks off.. We ask another waitress. She explains the science behind it all, which was largely about the order in which you should eat the steak to get the best flavour profile. A bit sad that we were halfway through by the time this was explained..

Back to engagement.. There are so many different definitions out there. But to my way of thinking – one of the most powerful manifestations is an that employee cares.. In this instance, it is about caring that the customer enjoys & experiences things the way they’re meant to.  So there’s an onus on the employee.. But also on the employer – have they taken the time to explain, to inspire, to connect them with the broader experience, the broader reason for being..

It’s a shame.. Organisations get so far with great products- and let themselves down with the execution, time and time again.

What do you think? Have you had examples of this – or better, where organisations do themselves proud?

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