Keeping the “Engagement” in EOS: The Not-so-hidden “Why”

by Jun 2, 2023Entrepreneurial Operating System, EOS, Insights

Recently, I’ve noticed that sometimes when companies run on EOS®, their leaders view EOS as a system to be followed. Period. This outlook leads to what we call “compliance thinking,” which I can promise you is not the most effective way to run a thriving entrepreneurial business. That thinking doesn’t serve your people or your culture. It can be easy to forget that engagement is the not-so-hidden “why” for Running on EOS. 

Engagement Operating System

Harnessing and focusing the human energy in an organization to build a great and enduring business is the big “why” behind EOS. EOS’s proven habits, tools, and structure give you what you need to get there.

In a recent quarterly, a client reviewed their employee engagement results and the actions necessary to address issues the survey surfaced. As I listened, it was clear the team had forgotten why they implemented EOS in the first place.

I went to the board and wrote:

EOS = Entrepreneurial Operating System

Then I crossed out Entrepreneurial and replaced it with Engagement.

EOS = Engagement Operating System

I reminded them that they implemented EOS to increase the focus of human energy in their business. And – as many have experienced – more human energy equals more engagement.

We shifted the focus of their IDS® (Identify, Discuss, Solve) session to how they could use EOS Tools more effectively to address some of the issues that surfaced.

Mapping EOS Tools to Employee Engagement

Gallup created the Q12® survey, one of the most popular employee engagement tools. The first three questions on the survey are critical to measuring employee engagement.

Here’s how they correlate to EOS:

1: I know what is expected of me at work.

When people receive clear direction and understand what success looks like in their role, they feel more engaged.

The corresponding EOS Tools that, if used effectively, will make expectations crystal clear for all your people are:

2: I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work.

Leaders must ensure their people have the resources to execute their work tasks successfully. People feel more engaged when they have everything they need to do their roles effectively. 

The corresponding EOS Tools that, if used effectively, will help you identify any gaps in your people’s needs are:

3: At work I have the opportunity to do what I do best everyday.

When someone’s work aligns with their personal focus, they can enter a flow state and naturally feel more engaged at work.

The corresponding EOS Tools that, if used effectively, will help your people live out their personal values include:

“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.”

– Friedrich Nietzsche

In wrapping up my session with the clients staring at their employee engagement results, I asked them to remember why they started their EOS journey. I asked them to repeat it often to themselves and others. 

Before we ended our session for the day, I wrote:

More Human Energy = More Engagement

When the “why” is clear, the human energy will emerge to make the “what” have that much more impact. 

You’ll find further explanation of all these EOS Tools in Traction. Click the link below to get a free chapter.

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