Design of Engagements â€“ II Srinivas Venkatram
What is the purpose of â€œengagementâ€?? Engagement means involvement, interest. It means that people, out of their own volition, invest themselves into a task or a goal. Engagement means that the role of control, structures, and incentives are those of enablers while the real motive force comes from within. Engagement means that individuals relish and enjoy the task in itself i.e., they receive or obtain an intrinsic joy in the task ahead of them or the goal ahead of them. Engagement, in that sense, is essentially a people-centered concept. It means that even if an institution engages with its customers, it is really the individuals within the institution who are engaging with individual customers who they encounter as part of their day to day work. Engagement, by its very definition, leads to joy, fulfillment, and meaning creation for the individual involved in the task. It also leads to superior outcomes in the work undertaken, primarily because more thought has been put in, more attention to detail has been put in, more anticipation of consequences has taken place, and most important, more care for the impacts or results of the work has been taken.
Clearly, institutions and individuals both stand to gain tremendously if engagement takes place with the tasks ahead of them.
This would be applicable to teachers in schools, nurses, government servants, bus conductors, or for that matter any individual engaged in work of any kind, particularly those tasks that involve engaging with human beings, solving complex problems, or enabling other human beings (teaching). Engagement is so valuable and the need for engagement so ubiquitous, our next question should be: Does it happen? And if it does not happen, why not? And what can we do to help individuals get engaged on a scalable basis in society.