Free Lunch And Employee Engagement
Dov Seidman’s recent post says that most management efforts at employee engagement have been ‘out to lunch.’ As in, taking employees out to lunch, as if that kind of reward or team-bonding activity had some effective influence on the engagement behaviours of employees. Lunching isn’t inherently a bad thing (depending on how healthy you’re eating I suppose, or if you let anyone drink alcohol) but there’s no proven cause-and-effect relationship with employee engagement. I like this one of Dov’s key points:
“The frequency of lunches, performance reviews, volunteer program outings and team-building exercises does not produce higher levels of employee engagement. Employee engagement is determined by the quality and meaningfulness of these interactions, and the journey managers are enlisting their employees to engage in.”
He makes an excellent point about engaged employees – that “…they exhibit many more specific “engagement traits” – including a willingness to put in a great deal of extra effort, increased loyalty, a greater willingness to recommend their company as an employer of choice, efforts to inspire others in the company through concrete comments and actions, and similar outcomes – compared to other employees.” It doesn’t matter if they think they’re engaged or not, or if they tick a box on a survey saying they’re a 4 or a 7 on an engagement scale of 1-10 as those abstract measurements are devoid of applicable usefulness. Engagement is observable behaviour.
And please do tip your waiting staff. I’m pretty sure an engaged server wouldn’t spit in your soup.