The intersection between HR strategy and HR technology


Inspiration or Engagement?

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I’ve been away for a little while.  No, I have not been on vacation, or away from the country.  I’ve just not been writing.  I don’t know if other bloggers have this problem, but I don’t bother writing if I’m not “inspired.”  To be honest, I’ve faced this a few times in my career, and I’m not saying it’s a good thing.  98% of the time, I am pretty inspired.  I love what I do, both for work and in my extracurricular activities like systematicHR. 

I understand employee engagement, but to me it sounds so clinical.  Yes, engaged employees work harder, they are dedicated, they spend more time, they collaborate better, they are happier.  But that just does not do it for me.  I know when I’m inspired I’m also engaged, and when I’m not inspired I’m not engaged.  It’s a 1-to-1 direct relationship.  Engagement just does not quite explain it for me.  Perhaps not all people are as emotionally tied to their work as I am.

Inspiration works for me at the basic levels, just the same way that engagement does.  My work and my management are the direct impacts to how “inspired” I am.  When I love work, I produce some incredible stuff (I can say that, right).  When I love work, I blog a lot because my brain is active trying to connect dots between all sorts of ideas.  When I love my supervisors, I’m motivated to produce, not just for the project, but for myself and for them as well.  This all translates to better productivity, better product, and generally a better environment that I create for myself.

I used to say the same thing when I would cook dinner.  When I’m inspired, I have interesting ideas on how to combine flavors, I make up dishes that I want to try, and I’m always ready to cook.  When I’m not inspired, cooking is a chore and more often than not, it’s going to be dried pasta and some sauce, or a salad.  To me, this is not just being engaged with the world around me.  Its an emotional connectedness and state of being that allows me to relate better to the environment I’m in.

However, to me it’s more than just being engaged.  I get emotionally attached to my work and people, and I can get incredibly disappointed in them.  One way or another, I seem to be “inspired” right now.  Looking forward to our conversations again.


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