by Clare Krabill
Engagement. It’s a buzz word we hear a lot lately. How do we engage our colleagues and keep them engaged? How do we engage our clientele in our services and our donors in our cause? How do we keep ourselves engaged in our ministry’s mission?
We ask these questions because we know engagement matters. Engagement is tied to employee satisfaction and retention. It is correlated to positive health outcomes for those we serve in the health and human service industry. It brings vibrancy to our ministries and success to our fundraising campaigns. It gives us energy and motivation in our own work and helps prevent burnout.
Yet, it can be elusive. Especially lately.
I was able to take a week of vacation recently. Somewhere around day 5, I came to a realization that has the power to drive my own engagement on multiple fronts. The steps by which this realization came to be are simple. They also take intention and time.
- Make space to reflect on your own or conversationally.
- Consider these pandemic months. What have you lost? What have you gained?
- What have you discovered matters to you? What doesn’t?
- When it comes to choosing how you will spend your resources of time, talent and money, what single thing is most important to you?
- Given that your time and life are precious, and not to be taken for granted, how can you use this thing as a litmus test for what you say yes or no to?
- How can this thing motivate you in your work, your relaxation and your relationships? How can you use it to serve God?
- How can you hold yourself accountable to living into this sense of purpose?
If you manage people, be curious about what is most important to them and how it can be harnessed and built upon to support your mission. If you fundraise, seek to discover what it is for your donors to bring about deeply meaningful gifts. Ask those you serve and look for big and small ways your organization and your daily work can help them live into their purpose. Seek clarity on what is most important to you. When you experience the engagement that comes from this, you may find yourself motivated to help others find it as well.
Understanding what engages you and others is powerful. Discovering what it is in others is relational. Connecting it to your ministry is missional.