The New Rules of Engagement: A Webinar Overview

Jason Arnold

November 19, 2019

Traditionally, the “War for Talent” has been understood to mean a competition to attract talent using premium benefits, flex-time, work-life balance, and learning opportunities — all of the key factors to job seekers’ decision making. Each of these benefits promises to result in its own impact on an organization’s bottom line.

While these benefits remain critical to attracting and retaining talent, it’s no longer enough for employers to differentiate themselves on the job market when it comes to engaging talent. It’s time to evaluate the New Rules of Engagement when it comes to enhancing your organization’s culture as a viable business strategy.

Did you miss @jdiamondarnold and @fowlersusann’s spectacular webinar on #EmployeeEngagement? Don’t worry! @InspireSoftware has got you covered in this recap:Tweet This!

The ability to attract and retain top talent has been a critical front in the so-called War for Talent, yet one area remains the most critical strategy to address — engaging the hearts and minds of your talent through the effective pursuit of their individual and career goals. It’s now more critical than ever for organizations to develop and cultivate an effective engagement strategy if they want to become or remain a destination for talent.

At Inspire Software, we’ve been working with leadership and talent experts like Susan Fowler — best-selling business author and expert in Motivation Science — to help organizations address the “engagement crisis” by blending industry-leading best practices with our innovative software solutions. Susan joined us on a webinar, produced by HR.com, to discuss new paradigms in employee engagement and motivation in the modern workplace, through her award-winning research on what makes employees passionate about their work through breakthroughs in motivation science. Through this opportunity with HR.com, a progressive champion of Human Resources best practices, we engaged Susan and our webinar audience in a discussion about the differences between motivation and employee engagement — and how they work together to retain top talent.

Discover how motivation can be used to inform your talent management strategy and create a company culture with active employee engagement with these key takeaways:

The Changing War for Talent

In this webinar, we took a look at the engagement dilemma from a new perspective, based on new understandings of how the psychological needs of individuals are impacted in today’s 21st Century workplace. The new rules of engagement are about attracting, engaging, and retaining top talent with something more meaningful and human in the workplace experience — beyond the hip perks of a killer new job or cool workspace — and keeping them more intimately engaged in their work experience by meeting their psychological needs.

New Rule #1 - Don’t Confuse Engagement and Satisfaction with Motivation

There’s a clear distinction between what it means for an employee to be motivated versus what it means to be engaged. Motivation refers to high-energy and focus — often in regards to a particular objective or project they are working on. True engagement refers to not just the satisfaction an individual has with their work environment, but the status of critical intentions the employee engages in as it relates to how they pursue their objectives and projects (not just what they feel about the company or manager they work for). Understanding an individual’s core intentions to perform and serve the internal and external clients of an organization is critical to understanding what really engages an employee or team of employees.

Engagement through healthy motivation leads to Employee Work Passion (EWP) and is a more significant indicator of an employee’s engagement levels than the traditional measures of engagement. EWP measures intentions that lead to the behavior of engaged employees: to stay with an organization, to use discretionary effort at work, to produce work beyond expectations, to endorse the organization to others, and organizational citizenship behaviors as an employee. Motivation, through engaging the psychological needs of an individual, is at the heart of a truly engaged employee.

The “War on Talent” needs a new set of rules and @InspireSoftware has the details. Learn more about modern #EmployeeEngagement:Tweet This!

New Rule #2 - If Actively Engaged Employees is the End Goal: Motivational Science is the Means

As an expert on motivation science, Susan Fowler explains how it impacts our typical and traditional ideas of engagement. Through classic behavioral science concepts — like extrinsic vs. intrinsic rewards and recognition — she sets the stage for three specific psychological needs to consider when attempting to engage employees: Choice, Connection, and Competence.

One way to address these psychological needs on a practical level is accounting for the psychological safety of an individual — or team of individuals — working toward a common goal. When team leaders take into consideration these psychological needs during the creation and refining of team norms and processes, it nurtures the psychological safety of the team as a whole. When teams feel a sense of psychological safety, through the cultivation of individual psychological needs, research demonstrates that this practice, sparks more innovation, creativity, trust, and productivity.

New Rule #3 - Active Engagement Requires New Approaches to Leadership

Essential leadership practices that lead to higher levels of engagement requires the right motivation competencies. Consistently engaging the three psychological needs of motivation, optimizes leadership equity in an organization. This optimization of psychological needs in the workplace is a shift in leadership models of the past, which heavily relied on command and control approaches to leadership that were designed for an industrial age of workflow, demonstrated in assembly lines or rapid product development that requires little knowledge or creativity, but has always sub-optimized engagement levels of those being paid to perform those duties.

Learning new ways to use motivation science competencies, leaders can set the new best practices for engagement in their teams by:

  • Promoting optimally motivating individual and team goals
  • Preparing for regular one-to-one conversations
  • Engaging the psychological needs of individuals through regular one-to-one conversations
  • Cultivating psychological safety during team meetings and collaboration

Leadership sets the tone for optimizing engagement through goal science, performance management, and ongoing learning.


Inspire Software provides the tools you need in an educational context to factor motivation science into your goals — for individuals, groups, and the company as a whole — and your performance management strategy so that your leaders are crafting a culture of engagement from the ground up. Created side-by-side with input from experts like Susan Fowler, the Inspire Software platform can pinpoint the areas and conversations that will optimize employee motivation and create a robust company culture that puts you ahead in the War for Talent. Take a demo today!

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