inspiring a working africa

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Are you really engaged?

I was out with a couple of people for lunch recently and something interesting happened en route the restaurant we were heading to. The driver of a yellow tricycle popularly called Keke Marwa in Lagos state, bumped into my car and somehow managed to pull out my bumper. As the owner of the car, one would naturally expect me to react to the situation but guess what? I didn’t have to. This was because my driver Chris, was already on top of it.


He got out of the car and handled the situation in such a way that made me forget that I was the owner of the car. I was blown away not because a Nigerian Superman had done something for me, but by the fact that Chris displayed what can only be described as a characteristic of an engaged employee.


An engaged employee, according to Wikipedia, is one who is fully absorbed by and enthusiastic about their work and so takes positive action to further the organization’s reputation and interests. Every employee should be like Chris. This singular spirit is what employers desire to see in their employees but it is sad to see that the opposite is the case about 70% of the time.

That pre-lunch incident swept a flood of questions through my mind. Of the myriad of employees worldwide, how many would do what Chris did? How many would stand in the gap for their boss and wield the sword when battle arises? How many would go the extra mile to see that operations run smoothly at their organizations whether or not the onus of getting things done rests on them? How many would take the pain to see that their organization or employers are well represented out there? While answering these questions, I came to one conclusion; only an engaged employee would do all of these.


Engaged employees are rare. According to statistics, only 15% of employees worldwide are engaged in their jobs (Gallup) . However, such employees are usually passionate about their jobs and have a win-win attitude. At all times, they seek to drive innovation in any environment they find themselves in. They consistently work to meet and/or exceed customer’s requirements and company goals. They take on their responsibilities as if the company belongs to them.


In contrast to engaged employees, disengaged employees take on their jobs with levity. The only seriousness they exhibit is fueled by the fact that without working, their salaries would not be paid. They always seek to undermine what engaged employees do. Rather than invest time during work hours to do things that drive the business forward, they actively spend time doing things that pull the business down.


In conclusion, employees like Chris will make greater impact and have their footprints in the sands of time. Therefore, in relation to your organization, it is critical to ask, ‘ARE YOU REALLY ENGAGED?”

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