Introduction

We'd love to get to know you better. Where do you work?

What does your employer do?

No, really, we want you to answer that specific question—out loud. It's a little exercise (we know it's dangerously early in a book to be making you work). Just describe out loud—in a sentence or two—what your organization does.

Did you do it?

Okay, here's the reveal. Did you say "we" or "they" when you described what your employer does? Did you say something like "We produce widgets for the automotive industry" or "They produce widgets for the automotive industry"?

That's what we call the "We Test."

You can tell a lot about an organization's culture and whether workers are fully engaged in their jobs by how often they use the word we as opposed to they, our, or even I.

  • Do you say, "I'm the assistant manager on Jane's team" or "I am the manager for our team?"

  • Do you say, "I had the best quarter so far; sales were up 20 percent" or "Our team had the best quarter so far; sales were up 20 percent"?

You can even hear the difference when people complain about their jobs.

  • A disengaged customer service rep might say, "Work sucks. They haven't filled the open positions yet so I'm handling way too many calls."

  • A fully engaged customer service rep might comment, "Work sucks lately. Our recruiting efforts haven't been very effective so we're handling more than calls than normal."

The premise of this book is simple but far reaching.

There is nothing more important for a person or an organization than full engagement. ...

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