Whose Job is it Anyway?

“Nobody told me.”

Hearing that phrase from an employee or associate can be a little hard on a person. When your company communicates in meetings, via e-mail, in forums, on a website and in other materials, it’s a little disheartening to know that the resources weren’t used.

When talking about employee engagement, most thought leaders focus on management’s responsibility.  What does management need to do to increase employee commitment and excitement?

  • Clear vision, mission and strategy
  • Communication
  • A chance for employees to make progress
  • Pleasant work atmosphere
  • Interesting work and challenges
  • A sense of team
  • Participation in the outcome

You can do all of those things in your company – make all of them available to your people, and still not get to where you need to be.

Your people need to do some of the wagon-pulling to get to a state of employee engagement.

Kevin Kruse, author of Employee Engagement for Everyone: 4 Keys to Happiness and Fulfillment at Work, blogs that a great deal of the responsibility for employee engagement falls on the employee side. Employees need to:

  • Partner with their bosses
  • Identify and focus on areas that matter to them most
  • Be mindful of what their companies are already doing to communicate and drive engagement

And here comes the sales pitch.

Applied Improvisation training can support all three of those employee-side drivers. Our training humanizes participants, allowing them to become more than job descriptions to each other. We lead them to discoveries about each others’ skills and interests – even to their own skills and interests. Every well-executed AI training increases mindfulness – of our effects on others, on how we communicate, on how we listen and how we relate. Once people have fun together, it’s hard to use the phrase, “It’s not my job.” Our training makes engagement more likely.

“Everyone should have “driving positive engagement” as part of their job description.”

Here is Kevin’s blog piece.


Patrick Short is not a sole practitioner. His company, CSz-Portland has over 40 part-time employees; people get paid – in an industry (improv performance) where that’s rare. Half of our founding members from 1993 are still with the team – that’s astounding. He also coaches U-14 girls soccer. On the LSC Roaring Lions, player engagement is definitely a partnership – and our winning record over the last few years shows how well Applied Improvisation training works.




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