I believe that it is true to say that most people want to perform well at their job. At least they start out that way.

I believe that it is also true to say that most of us in leadership positions want the people in our teams to perform well too. We want them to enjoy the work, the environment, the challenges and the successes.

However, the data available on employee engagement would tell us that only 36% of people are actively engaged in their work with the remainder either actively disengaged or minimally engaged. So, what leaders say they want is in stark contrast to what they are doing about it. This is the dichotomy of performance enablement.

That initial enthusiasm for the job is, over time, eroded for too many people. This results in a detachment of sorts. People disengage, they don’t care as much. For some, they wonder “what’s the point?” It’s understandable and yet it is something that could be fixed.

It is an integral part of being in a leadership role to help people to engage with their work, the work of the team and their environment. Clearly, this isn’t happening for 64% of employees. This results in leaders that are stressed because they know they aren’t getting the best from their people, results are not what they could be. Unhappy employees because they don’t have a reason to engage, they don’t like their work anymore.

This dichotomy is costing businesses a lot of money in recruitment, onboarding, missed opportunities, lack of unencumbered collaboration, absenteeism, efficiency – I could go on. It doesn’t have to be that way though. If only a fraction of the money lost in not doing the work of performance enablement was invested in this area it would make a significant difference.

The task of performance enablement, while simple, isn’t necessarily easy. Leaders need to be developed, they need to understand the intricacies of human relationships. They need to understand the impact they have on their teams and how to develop a high performing unit.

Good performance is a product of engagement, clarity and environment, among other things. These are simple concepts but can be challenging to earn from people. How are you enabling performance in your team/organisation?