Low Involvement = Low Engagement

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The VUCA world not only brings many changes and challenges for business organisations, but also many trend-like phenomena. But not everything in the corporate world is upside down. Not all principles and structures of past decades have become obsolete. Being able to recognise this and distinguish effectively is a skill that is becoming increasingly important, especially in the VUCA world. Entrepreneurs and managers should be able to recognise and assess which developments will lead to sustainable changes in organisations and working environments and which will swing more like a pendulum on a clock and then swing back again.

Why are involvement and engagement such emphasised elements of people management today? Does it just seem this way, or do companies really face a greater challenge with employee engagement and customer engagement in the digital age? One thing is for sure, if a company had a low or non-engaged workforce 50 years ago, it would have been just as detrimental to success as it would be today. Today, however, many people's personalities and behaviours have changed and their perspectives on work, employer and leisure have shifted. In addition, there are demographic changes and the increasing freedom of the individual. A few decades ago, employees and customers were still strongly oriented towards continuity, security and regionality. Personal consequences in case of lack of commitment were even more pronounced. Frequent changes in employers were unpleasant and required more detailed explanations. In many companies, the mere fact of having a well-paid and highly secure job resulted in the level of commitment that was sufficient for the desired success of those companies.

But in today's working world in many highly developed industrialised countries, frequent changes of job and location are common. It is not uncommon for people to change employers for better conditions or prospects without much deliberation. Employers have to offer much more than a good salary to make a job interesting and enjoyable enough for a well-qualified, dynamic person with an above-average commitment to working there permanently.

Conversely, this development also means that a company quickly runs into a problem with the engagement of its people if it does not actively address this issue or take appropriate measures. Market experts estimate that in the US alone, the economy loses more than $600 billion each year due to a lack of employee engagement. However, the deficit in cost efficiency is not the only big argument for high management attention.

Another factor is the risk of ‘infection’ posed in a company by poorly motivated people (people with below-average commitment). Other people quickly get infected by this negative attitude. Worse, poor commitment does not go unnoticed by external stakeholders. Customers and business partners are either directly confronted with it by the people concerned in the company, or notice it through customer service and product quality.



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