Has Employee Engagement Become Nothing More Than Cliche?


Is all the talk around employee engagement just fluff?

This HR Magazine editorial is hopefully a slap in the face to those employers who enter ‘best workplace’ contests or initiate workplace culture surveys for the wrong reasons. I always ask people why they do things – not just these things but any things. The primary driver for such contests and surveys should be to improve performance, productivity and profitability. The driver should not be about winning a trophy. By all means win trophies but they are means to an end not ends in themselves. As the editorial itself says, “…is there a risk that the purpose of engagement – ensuring colleagues apply themselves to their jobs, for a better overall performance – is being lost in the race for points?”

“…the real commercial benefit comes when actions are taken on the findings, driving broader business strategy.”

One interviewed HR Director commented, “”Perhaps it’s because I spent too much time analysing our Best Companies data and noticed all the questions are about how good people feel, with barely a nod to how conscientiously they apply themselves to their work.” And that is what employee engagement is, not that people feel happy or not. Or even whether they feel engaged or not. It is their observable behaviour of applying discretionary effort.

In the interests of consistency I’d also like to point out that I like this editorial because it agrees with me. I am nothing if not consistent.

About Terry Williams - The Brain-Based Boss

I'm all about engaging people and helping you engage yours to influence behaviour to improve results - at work and at home. Maybe you're a manager, a salesperson, a leader, a parent, a presenter or an event organiser? You need to grab your people's attention, create some rapport, be memorable and influence behaviour change. How can we do that? I'm originally a trainer by trade, turned manager, turned comedian and partway back again. Author of 'THE GUIDE: How to kiss, get a job & other stuff you need to know', I write and speak about how to engage people, be they employees, family or yourself. How can we connect with people’s own internal motivations and help them use their own inner passions to drive towards productivity, success and happiness? And hopefully have a few laughs along the way... As a trainer facilitating learning and development in others, I find myself drawing on my own extensive business experience. I specialise in the delivery of high impact, customised training solutions for organisations that are serious about improving the performance and lives of their people.

Posted on August 13, 2012, in Employee Engagement, Workplace Of Choice and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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