Wearing Employee Engagement on Your Sleeve

September 10, 2015 by

employee engagementCan you imagine a work environment where each employee was given a t-shirt displaying his or her level of job engagement? It would make for a pretty honest, transparent, and entertaining workplace, and one in which I can imagine three key takeaways.

First, the Actively Engaged employees would proudly and passionately show their engagement level. They would wear their company shirt every week, or maybe even twice depending on their laundry schedule. They would also seek out and spread their wonderfully infectious positive attitudes to others in the organization. They would volunteer for extra effort and create phenomenal product quality and customer service outcomes.

Second, Ambivalent employees, those in the middle engagement category (Not Engaged or Disengaged), would likely forget their t-shirt at home and therefore display nothing. No vigor, no passion, no pride. No extra effort or volunteerism. Simply put, they would need to be re-engaged. (Two effective ways of doing so are to match them up with a mentor who is actively engaged or “Voluntell” them for a special project or task. Knowing that these employees will never volunteer for any extra work, they need to be “Voluntold.” Try it. It works.)

Third, your Actively Disengaged employees would likely throw out or burn their t-shirt, or wear it inside out, so as to completely disassociate themselves from your organization. They would no doubt actively and maliciously encourage others to do so as well. Your call to action: get rid of these “watercooler malcontents.” Any effort at coaching or hoping to change these people will be a complete waste of time.

What are your employees wearing on their t-shirts and how are you managing it? Have you made it clear to them that they are empowered to choose which t-shirt to wear?



Kevin Sheridan is an internationally-recognized Keynote Speaker, a New York Times Best Selling Author, and one of the most sought-after voices in the world on the topic of Employee Engagement. For five years running, he has been honored on Inc. Magazine’s top 100 Leadership Speakers in the world, as well as Inc.’s top 100 experts on Employee Engagement. He was also honored to be named to The Employee Engagement Award’s Top 101 Global Influencers on Employee Engagement of 2017.

Having spent thirty years as a high-level Human Capital Management consultant, Kevin has helped some of the world’s largest corporations rebuild a culture that fosters productive engagement, earning him several distinctive awards and honors. Kevin’s premier creation, PEER®, has been consistently recognized as a long-overdue, industry-changing innovation in the field of Employee Engagement. His first book, Building a Magnetic Culture, made six of the best seller lists including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. He is also the author of The Virtual Manager, which explores how to most effectively manage remote workers.

Kevin received a Master of Business Administration from the Harvard Business School in 1988, concentrating his degree in Strategy, Human Resources Management, and Organizational Behavior. He is also a serial entrepreneur, having founded and sold three different companies.

Email: kevin@kevinsheridanllc.com