Employee Engagement is the new black. You can’t swing a disgruntled worker without hitting another report citing percentages of employees who are disengaged, disconnected, actively negative, passively waiting, engaged, enchanted, empowered and feeling the luv.
Engagement is IT baby – get busy engaging or get busy dying.
My Engagement Beliefs
- I believe in engagement. I believe there are multiple paths to engagement. I believe that employees are happier, more productive and more likely to help the corporation when they are engaged.
- I believe that employees need to find meaning in their work, be validated (a better word than recognized me thinks), be informed, be paid, have a personal alignment with the mission/values of the organization.
- I believe employees have a role in their engagement and they need to give as much as they get.
- I believe employers and employees also live in a codependent world allowing both to get away with murder and then playing the blame game.
- I believe that for every drop a rain that falls another engagement score is born.
I think most of us can get on board with those beliefs. But beliefs only go so far.
What I want to know is this:
What is a good engagement score?
Credit bureaus have a way of scoring your credit worthiness.
Height and weight charts can tell you what’s normal for men/women/children.
A financial planner can tell you specifically how to manage money based on your specific requirements.
But can an engagement number tell you anything?
What’s Your Score?
I don’t have answers today but I have questions that should be answered before going all-in on any “engagement strategy du jour.”
- What is your “engagement” score? They vary by different companies and measurement tools. Which one is right?
- What is a good score? 80%, 70%, 77.6538%?
- What is a great score? 81%? So close to 80 but not – what’s that 1% worth? See next question.
- What is the score at which you start to see declining marginal returns? No company wants to invest in something that isn’t bringing any value to the table.
- If you score an 80% engagement score but your competitor scores 85% – are you winning or losing? Are you making more money than your 85% competitor? Have you always and will you always? Does that 5% even matter then?
- Which of the engagement strategies you can implement are most impactful? Is there one that contributes 20% to the score and another that contributes 23%? Should you do one without the other? I don’t know and I’m betting that you don’t and neither do many suppliers.
Fool On The Hill
I know it is easy as hell to sit up on the hill and point out things with no answers like I just did. Creating is hard work. Critiquing is easy. That’s why most consultants do critiques not creates.
But I do think we’ve been inundated with so many engagement numbers and studies and strategies and tactics that we’ve really forgotten that much of engagement is trying to create some perfect 4-box Johari window that makes it easy to codify a very complex problem.
In my simple mind the problem is less about employee engagement than it is about things:
- Know what you want to do and why you’re doing it.
- Make sure your managers know how to communicate that message effectively.
- Fire people that don’t play the game. Hire people that do.
- Drive behavior toward things you know are valuable in the organization through proper use of recognition, incentives and common sense.
Do these things and you will get engagement. What score it will get you I don’t know. I convinced no one else does either.
Originally posted on on Incentive Intelligence