Who’s in control of your engagement at work?


Thoughts from the recent CRF Conference


Marshall drew a parallel to many organisations’ approach to employee engagement and the idea that “employees will be engaged when…” HR teams and leaders spend a substantial amount of effort in trying to develop employee engagement through recognition, reward programs, training, compensation and opportunities of empowerment. Marshall holds a mirror to this approach. Is this an organisation’s job? He puts the onus on employees to take responsibility for their own engagement rather than the organisation.

So how can you motivate yourself to engage with your organisation effectively? We look at two interesting concepts from Marshall that could be useful in developing your own engagement.

The Wheel of Change

It begins with acknowledging that employment involves two parties wanting to maximise the advantages of entering a contract with another. So what can you do for the business as well as what can the business do for you? Aside from the traditional benefits mentioned above, you should strive to gain as much development in your current role towards your personal development.

Whilst an organisation can facilitate development, ultimately this is our own responsibility but achieving these goals and growing into the person you aspire to be can often seem overwhelming. ‘The Wheel of Change – Becoming the person that we want to become’ allows us to structurally assess what it is about ourselves that we’d like to keep and change moving forwards. This can be broken down further into four main areas


  • Creating – This stage requires visualising the future, as well as focusing on the process to invent elements you feel you do not already have. Who is the person that you want to become? What are the building blocks required to create the additions you want? How do you identify with your future self? Are there any fears that inhibit you from creating this person?

  • Preserving – This involves reflection and gratitude of the past. What do you want to preserve and why? Then consider, are you being honest with yourself, are you focussing on too much preservation of your current identity? Can this be split into areas of improvement and maintenance?

  • Eliminating – Eliminating requires not only identifying what to eliminate but also when to eliminate? What are the dangers of over-committing to eliminate too much of your current identity? Instead are there behaviours that you know you should eradicate and others that you feel you can reduce?

  • Accepting – This area requires acknowledging and understanding your journey so far. Make peace with the past, is there anything you feel you should ‘let go’ of? Are you willing to make peace at this moment in time, if not, then what are the steps you need to take to forgive? Do you have any environmental limitations which you should accept as obstacles to becoming the person you want to be? Finally, re-evaluate your priorities, what is important to accept first?

How do I get there?

Mapping out your journey to become the person you want is just the first step. Too often, we devise these plans but get so consumed by daily life that they merely become a good intention. Marshall suggested a process incorporate our goal into our daily life. It’s a short and simple exercise he calls “The Daily Question Process”. The steps are as follows:

Ask yourself six questions in relation to the processes you outlined in your Wheel of Change which are important to you:

1. Did I do my best to bring positive energy to my team today
2. Did I do my best to engage myself with my organisation?
3. Did I value the opinion of my peers in our meeting today?
4. Have I said anything destructive today?
5. Have I done something today that I want to do tomorrow?
6. What would I do differently?


Fill these answers out on a spreadsheet daily (it only takes a few minutes) to reflect and encourage you to drive towards becoming the person you want to be.


Marshall conducted a large scale study globally using The Daily Question Process, and found that 37% of participants reported improvement on all six items. 65% of participants reported improvement on at least four items and 89% of participants reported improvement on at least one item.

It was a thought-provoking day. The two concepts, ‘The Wheel of Change’ and ‘The Daily Question Process’ are an interesting take on how to engage and develop yourself to become the person you want to be. What are the tips and tools you use at the moment to engage yourself and are they working? Is your current behaviour leading you to become the person you want to be and ultimately to being happy at work?

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Like this content? Read our article on culture change in GB Skeleton & Bobsleigh

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