According to Gallup's State of the Global Workplace: Employee Engagement Insights for Business Leaders Worldwide report (September 2014), while New Zealand has one of the highest rates of employee engagement at just 24 per cent, the report says that 60 per cent of our workforce is not engaged.

Strong employee engagement promotes a variety of outcomes that are good for business. These include improvements to quality of work and health, and productivity. (HBR, July 2013)

Linley Rose, LDC Provider panel member

LDC coach Linley Rose's model OPEN, which she presented in a recent LDC members’ clinic, offers leaders a proven pathway to improving engagement and success with strategic objectives. OPEN can assist leaders, managers or human resource professionals to improve engagement in their teams or organisations.

Much of a leader's work is focused on creating new strategy, outcomes and vision. Linley has observed that this is often the starting point for many leaders. But Linley's OPEN model highlights the contrary. There are three stages a leader should progress through before 'creating new possibilities'.

The OPEN model

  • Observe
  • Potential shared
  • Explore
  • New possibilities

Linley outlined the first two steps of the model and gave members useful strategies to apply in their work environments.

Step one: Observe

Observe ourselves and others to identify how we can build our awareness to a higher level

Understanding another person's perspective is important for you to engage with them more effectively. Importantly for leaders, to be influential you need to know where a person is coming from. You need to know their point of view.

Linley pointed out that while observing takes effort it is really important to view yourself, others and experiences from outside what is 'normal' for you. When you observe someone, ask yourself what it tells you about that person and about yourself. You can assess habitual ways or habitual barriers of a situation.

Step two: Potential shared

You've chosen to participate in this system

You've made the decision that you are going to participate, and now have to start to develop trust. Building trust means you can be open and frank, and therefore more effective and efficient. Outcomes become more tangible, decisions get made faster and there is more success in projects. Low trust can mean low collaboration.

Member feedback

Feedback from members at the clinic showed that OPEN is a "simple, well-considered model to help construct effective relationships' and that Linley caused them to 'think about why some people are in the 'somewhat trust' or 'don't trust' circles and how to move them into the trusted circle".