By Emily Porter, Feb 18, 2018

Authentic engagement is a hot term right now, but too often our workplace interactions aren’t authentic or engaging. Real inclusive, participatory environments require more than conducting a survey and checking a box.

The art and science of engaging people is both deep and wide: social movements, human-centered design, complex systems, collective impact, organizational psychology, cognitive behavior, participatory methods, and the list goes on.

But you don’t have to be a scientist to start engaging. Here are five steps that you can start taking today to more truly engage, solve problems, innovate and change.

 Nurture a participatory environment, where everyone has an equal voice with time to share and be heard. This isn’t always easy – you may need a facilitator to ensure objectivity and fairness.

 Rally the group around a shared vision or common goal that they can all get behind. This can be improving a process, creating a better environment or reaching a financial target.

 Support whole group ownership in the initiative vs. a traditional hierarchical structure. Be clear about the parameters: What are the givens? Where can the group have an impact? Within the parameters, let group ownership occur naturally. This empowerment will spur energy, creativity and accountability.

 Ensure regular opportunities to openly discuss updates, issues and changes. When people disagree with each other, ask them to model the respectful curiosity they’d like to experience.

 Acknowledge progress and celebrate learning along the way. This is a crucial element of bonding!

Moving toward a more engaged, genuinely participatory environment can happen more quickly than you think. And the rewards are plentiful.

Let us know if we can help you move towards real engagement.