What Is An Engagement CEO?

inspired-work-david-harderIF ONLY 13% of the world’s workers are engaged, the probability is fairly high that many CEOs are not taking charge of their culture. While surveys and leadership development are valuable pieces of employee engagement, personal transformation is even more critical. Most employees are overwhelmed with the pace of change and until we teach them how to change themselves in meaningful ways, efforts to improve engagement will continue to falter.

It takes a particular type of CEO to lead a fully engaged culture. In my upcoming book, The Great Disengagement – How we lost our enthusiasm for work and how we will win it back,  I discuss the leadership behavior the CEOs of highly engaged cultures have in common. They:

[message type=”custom” width=”100%” start_color=”#F0F0F0 ” end_color=”#F0F0F0 ” border=”#BBBBBB” color=”#333333″]

  • Take charge of the culture
  • Express continuous praise towards workers
  • Develop strong personal brands, which breed consistent behavior and messages
  • Constantly seek ways to keep workers current and relevant
  • Treat employees as their greatest asset versus a potential liability
  • Report engagement as a profit source rather than an expense
  • Effectively educate and inspired shareholders to support effective
   people initiatives
  • Tend to dismiss short-term financial performance for long-term
   value and brand strength
  • Tell themselves and others the truth, especially in subjects involving
  • Keep themselves directly connected to the front line[/message]

I work with quite a few chief human resource officers. We often discuss the fact that when we find a CEO who practices these leadership behaviors, they are going to have a great professional experience. All too often, CEOs tell human resources to fix it and if that is the case, they will be eventually held accountable for a job that is more difficult than pushing an egg up a hill with a nose.

David Harder
David Harderhttp://www.inspiredworkservices.com
DAVID founded Inspired Work in 1990, which has helped over 42,000 professionals transform their relationship towards work. Individuals from all walks of life attend Inspired Work’s public programs to launch new careers, new business or to become more successful in their existing role. He views work as a profound opportunity to become more fulfilled, contributive and effective. Mr. Harder’s leadership, employee engagement, executive development and social networking programs are used in a wide variety of organizations including The Walt Disney Company, HBO, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Loyola Marymount University, University of Southern California, The United Church of Religious Science, Morgan Stanley, and many others. Inspired Work’s leadership programs, career development and team building programs produce some of the worlds most outstanding satisfaction numbers in any business: 92.6% out of a hundred. David has appeared on many business and human-interest programs including CNN, KTLA News, KFWB News and Business News Network. David’s book, new book, The Workplace Engagement Solution (Career Press) offers an entire “crack-the-code” approach to engagement.


  1. I believe that management can effectively build an engaging work environment by moving three levers: human resources management, organizational justice and relationships with employees. In fact, engagement is the result of organizational contexts characterized by relationships with inclusive collaborators, an approach to the management of human resources aimed at enhancing them, by fairness and transparency in the processes of managing people. The possibility of creating organizational contexts for the engagement is therefore in the hands of the CEO, responsible for the dissemination of the corporate culture. They have the discretion and the responsibility to make managerial choices that are decisive for the engagement when they define internal communication systems, set managerial practices, manage relations with collaborators, adopt systems for the management of human resources, develop policies and processes. that guarantee organizational justice.

  2. I like your reference to teaching people to “change themselves in meaningful ways”. For someone who wants to learn or improve or be engaged, they will accept personal responsibility. Sometimes they don’t know where to begin. Being lead and taught will make a difference.

    • Jane, thank you for your comment. In our programs we often talk about that fact that we don’t know what we don’t know. Organizations would do well to offer skill building that help us change and engage.



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