To Buy Or To Buy-In? That Is The Question. (Why We Use #OPTin, Reason #2)

Is Employee buy-in comparable to Customer buying?

YES (is our Thought)!

Our Thought is that Engagement is a CHOICE, an ‘OPT In’, that your individual Employees make from different OPTIONS just as individual Customers make a choice to buy, to opt for, your products and/or services.   

The Dictionary Agrees

Check it out.  The dictionary definition of Opt is, indeed, to make a choice. Our view that Engagement is a choice, an ‘OPT in’, by individual Employees is Reason #2 for why we use #OPTin.

(Reason #1 for #OPTin was the subject of Engaging Thoughts, Issue 1, available on our Blog.

Employees OPTing In … or Not

Do Employees make different choices to buy-in to different levels of Engagement like Customers make different choices about buying goods & services?
(Image by M. Hassan from Pixby)

Employees ‘OPT In’ to different levels of emotional involvement in their work.  These levels range from passionate engagement to dis-passionate contributing, from dis-engaged but still collecting paychecks to, at worst, hostile sabotaging.

Of course, you want Employees to OPT in to your Vision, Mission and Values, to be engaged by them. If you do want that, wouldn’t it help for you to see your Employees as ‘Customers’ that you need to ‘sell’ on engaging in, going the extra mile, to ensure success for your Organization?

The Importance of A Word

I once heard Tom Peters talk in an audio presentation about one of the key concepts from his book, In Search of Excellence.  His goal was to illustrate that the way that customers are described by employees leads to a fundamental difference in the way they are treated. 

He was talking about the Walt Disney Corporation’s practice of referring to visitors to its amusement parks by the term ‘Guests’. To highlight the importance of this term he described an experience he had on a commercial airline flight. 

‘Here Come The Animals’

Mr. Peters overheard one of the attendants say to one of her colleagues,
“Here come the animals”.
(Image by K. Arnold from Pixby)

Seated in first class Mr. Peters observed the flight attendants as the rest of the passengers in the cheaper seats were ready to begin boarding.  

Just before the other passengers entered the plane Mr. Peters overheard one of the attendants say to one of her colleagues, “Here come the animals”.   You could feel Tom’s body cringing as he pointed out that there are a lot of things that you can do to an animal that can’t do to a Guest.”  Perhaps in thanks to his influence, the term “Guest” is now used widely including restaurants like McDonald’s.

How useful would it be to at least think of the word ‘#OPT in’ as you sell Employees on becoming engaged and staying engaged in the work they do for you?

What Does Gallup Say?

In 2017. The Gallup Organization published its updated study on the ‘State of the American Workplace’.  Their study agrees with us that Employees should be thought of as ‘Customers’. 

“Organizations have to figure out if employees want what they are selling.  They need a prospective employee “sales strategy” in the same way that have a customer sales strategy.  The framework for each is nearly identical. (Page 24)

Employees Are Suppliers Too (Lest You Think We Forget)

Although we recommend You treat Employees as Customers for Your Vision, we never forget they are also paid suppliers of services to You.
(Image by Karen Arnold from Bixby)

We do recommend that you treat Employees as Customers when you want to ‘sell’ them on being engaged by in your Organization’s success. 

On the other hand, we never forget that they are also suppliers of their services that must yield value if your Organization is to be (financially) healthy and your Teams productive.

Conclusion: If You Want To Maximize Engagement … Our Reason #2 for #OPTin

Our Reason #2 for using #OPTin, then, is to remind Leaders and Managers that Employees make individual choices to OPTin to engagement.  It would help to ‘sell’ them on ‘buying in’ to engagement just as you sell Customers on buying products and services.

About Us: We are Engagement Facilitators.  Out StarWithin Engagement and Fulfillment System supports and enhances this role that we play for our Client’s Leaders, Managers and Employees. 

We publish Engaging Thoughts with an invitation for anyone interested in Employee Engagement to share their own thoughts about this important subject.  For more about us Contact us at