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13 Dimensions of Conscious Engagement

By November 29, 2020June 1st, 2021Culture
13 Dimensions of Conscious Engagement

The Conscious Engagement model© calls for individuals and organisations to engage across 13 dimensions, towards an outcome-based experience of purpose, passion and performance. These are the 13 Dimensions of Conscious Engagement.

Employee engagement is not only about what people do to create engagement, it’s actually about how they do it. As in, how people behave and how they ‘practice’ engagement at work.

The ‘how’, it turns out, is far more important than the ‘what’. Because engagement is as much about doing, as it is about being…

being present,
being self-aware,
being conscious of our actions and their effects on others, and
being committed to grow from our mistakes.

A new focus on the intentionality of action is the thinking that led to the development of the Conscious Engagement Model©.

I am honoured to be a member of the thought leadership team at Achievement Awards Group, an organisation that specializes in employee recognition and engagement.

As a team, we have grouped the drivers of engagement into 13 distinct dimensions. When activated, these drivers help move individuals and organisations towards an outcome-based experience of purpose, passion and performance.

13 Dimensions of Conscious Engagement

1. Directed action

In the consciously engaged organisation, individual roles are linked with the organisation’s strategy. People are helped to see how their roles matter, and how their contributions are valued.

Secure in the knowledge that they are valued, individuals exercise personal accountability, which leads to a sense of collective responsibility, and comradery. People choose to connect, collaborate and unite. As such, they are happy to move in the same direction towards the achievement of the organisation’s strategic goals and objectives.

2. Conscious self-leadership

Conscious leadership is as much about self-leadership as it is about leading others, which is why it is sanctioned as a practice for all.

To advance personal accountability, individuals are encouraged to develop an open mind, and to question their own beliefs and biases. Active listening and empathy are promoted, as is the practice of becoming more fully conscious and present in the now. Within an environment of authenticity and conscious awareness, trust grows.

3. Values-led leadership

Stemming from a deep sense of organisational purpose, values-driven leaders demonstrate the highest aspects of humanity. They have self-control, they practice empathy, and they instill trust. Through their example, they encourage others to align their personal values with those of the organisation. Values-driven leaders are catalysts for positive action.

4. Engaging and enabling management

Managers provide guidance and support, enabling rather than directing employees’ performance. This empowering approach gives people the confidence to be their authentic selves at work – to speak their truth, to listen compassionately and attentively, and to grow in the knowledge that their contributions are valuable, and that they are valued as individuals.

5. Energetic and collaborative culture

The conscious organisation is a hive of organised activity. A robust information and communication infrastructure facilitates the exchange of information and ideas.

Employees find their work interesting and challenging – it doesn’t overwhelm or exhaust. Employees are given the go-ahead to innovate and experiment. So too, to make time for creative play, and rest and recovery.

Employees are fuelled by curiosity and creativity. Actions that cause negative energy, such as gossip, politicking and backstabbing, are recognised and dealt with, positively. Direct and skillful communication is used to surface concerns, and to provide constructive criticism. Always, the emphasis is on arriving at mutual understanding and shared solutions.

6. Meaningful work within a purposeful organisation

Conscious organisations have a clearly stated purpose, one enlivened by conversations among employees about its relevance and realisation. The organisation’s purpose inspires employees to make a difference, and to see how their individual efforts impact organisational outcomes. Above all, employees support the organisation’s purpose for the way it serves the sustainability agenda, and the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit.

7. Continuous growth

The conscious organisation creates an environment in which employees see the learning potential in every circumstance, and in every person – even when they find them challenging. Every action, project and plan presents an opportunity to develop new competencies and skills. Also, while employees are encouraged to develop their own pathways to personal mastery, the emphasis is on how individual mastery can help build and bolster the team.

Shared feedback is a key feature of the conscious organisation. Across the company, individual and team feedback is frequent, actionable, relevant and timely, helping people to focus on the right things, and to develop the right strengths.

8. Appreciation and encouragement

The conscious organisation celebrates high performance – teams just as much as managers and individuals – for going above and beyond in delivering results. However, results aren’t the sole focus. Individuals and teams who live the organisation’s values, and whose behaviours are seen to be pro-social, are publically recognised and appreciated.

Using social recognition, employees have the opportunity to identify and credit existing and potential leaders. Not only does this recognition draw attention to behaviours that support the organisation’s goals, it also sets up these behaviours for emulation, effectively driving strategy, while building a culture of excellence.

9. Diversity, inclusion and belonging

Upholding the belief that there is strength in diversity of all kinds, the conscious organisation creates an inclusive culture where people feel confident to be who they really are, and to bring their full selves to work. Perspective sharing is a regular practice and there is training at all levels to mitigate cognitive bias. Leaders are tolerant of failure for the learnings it provides. Attention is given to wins derived from diverse thinking, which serves to highlight its intrinsic value.

10. Recognition and rewards

In the conscious organisation, recognition is deliberate, strategically deployed and, above all, authentic. It draws attention to the actions and behaviours of individuals and teams that support the organisation’s goals and values. This dual-purpose approach serves to align people with strategy and culture, ultimately driving business results.

Importantly, recognition can be accessed by anyone in the organisation, at any time. It is simple to give and is linked to intrinsic and extrinsic rewards. Rewards are used to amplify the impact of recognition, and to drive positive behaviour change. A comprehensive rewards suite gives employees the freedom to choose the rewards they want, making the experience personal, meaningful and memorable.

11. Communication

Transparent communication is the hallmark of a conscious organisation. Easy and equitable access to communication channels enables information to flow freely, and for feedback to unfold in a 360-degree circle of inclusion. Skills that support clear and authentic communication, such as empathy and active listening, are incorporated into organisational training programs.

Meetings promote the participation of all members, empowering employees to find their voices, and to express their honest opinions without fear of judgement or reprisal.

12. Positive practice

At the core of the consciously engaged organisation is an effective framework of policies, processes and procedures, ensuring good governance and compliance, efficient operational management, and effective use of resources. This framework serves to provide people with helpful guidelines and systems-driven direction.

Importantly, systematisation does not lead to bureaucratisation. Rather than limiting people’s potential, policies and processes give managers and employees a roadmap for day-to-day operations. At an individual level, employees take responsibility for their contribution to effective practice.

13. Right resources

The conscious organisation provides resources that enhance productivity – from high-grade technology that helps drive innovation and collaboration to workspaces that support different modes of productivity. Within this resource-rich environment, individuals take the initiative to upskill themselves, and to learn continuously. They take pride in, and ownership of, the outcomes of their work, which demonstrates their commitment to the organisation’s success.

The Conscious Engagement model© looks at the experience of conscious engagement from the point of view of the employee as an individual, and as part of a collective: the organisation.

Working in synergy, the 13 dimensions of conscious engagement constitute a holistic, human-centred experience of and, when put into practice, become drivers of purpose, passion and performance.

As companies enter 2021, conscious engagement is the key to building a culture, not only of resilience, but also of resurgence.

Felicity Hinton

Felicity Hinton

Felicity Hinton is the founder and chief strategist at Humanist, a culture-change agency that helps transform people for business success. Previously, she worked in human performance solution design, and advertising. She is a certified change manager (UCT), has a Bachelor’s degree in English (Wits), and has won several awards for her business writing, including a Silver Quill.

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