Engage. [en-geyj] verb. to come together and occupy the attention of toward a joint effort task or idea.
A dealer friend found himself at odds with an employee today. His senior technician wants to be paid more — a common issue all the time, right? … but particularly in today’s growing economy and shrinking number of quality technicians.
Ultimately, the dealer wants to do right by his tech – he’s a good guy and he’s reliable. But behind the scenes, he’s also the least efficient in the shop, despite the “senior” designation — and by a long shot. He’s billing less than 50 percent of his clocked hours but seeks the pay of someone far more effective in their role.
As it shakes out, the guy who keeps the shop running while the boss isn’t around wouldn’t have a place to work if it weren’t for his more-efficient yet lower-paid brethren.
In many ways, there’s much to be gained when we can engage our employees in a conversation about the business. When we can sit down and outline the equation of revenue earned to expenses paid – personnel and otherwise. And that’s what this boiled down to: “I can pay you more, but let’s talk about and improve upon the profitability equation of the work you do for us.”
Far too often, however, we treat the idea of engaging like it’s a one-directional conversation. You come to work. You engage in your responsibilities. Everyone’s happy.
By definition, though, “to engage” means to come together and occupy the attention of toward a joint effort, task, or idea. It’s not a one-way street. We need to come together toward a joint effort, task or idea with our employees in order to be efficient and effective, both as individuals and as a business.
I often think of it the same way as our role here at MRAA. We want to engage you in a conversation about the business of boating and how we can aid in your growth and success. It’s a rewarding moment when we get to talk to our members — even our non-members, in this case — about these topics, and it’s even more rewarding when we see them engage in the tools, resources and educational opportunities we have to offer them.
Because ultimately, we need to come together toward a joint effort, task or idea in order to grow our industry. And we can only do that by opening up engaging dialog.
We look forward to doing just that next week at the MDCE. Hope to see you there.