The great Paul Hebert wrote a piece for Fistful of Talent that touched on the metric validation most organizations seem to seek in programming. His point was not lost on me. I have seen an influx of organizations seeking buzz words and statistical proof to frame new directives. Paul's extended point being that there is not a score that can address the level of engagement in a corporate culture and that there is no 'end game' in assessing Employee Engagement.
Too often organizations seek statistics to validate employee's shelf life or pull in a 'vendor' to formulate a program upon whom to blame failed engagement. Is there a less flattering term than 'vendor'?
Great companies love their people, unconditionally, every day. Great companies find an honest approach to forming business partnerships and honor their 'vendors' in the same respect that they do their employees. Organizational culture starts with an Executive vision, extends through your Linchpin employees and further to the fantastic professionals that represent you as business partners (not vendors).
We have lost our ability to cultivate and grow unique and meaningful human motivation. We have taken the people out of the equation and made it about numbers....shame on us.
In furtherance to Paul Hebert's blog post and the great minds of Keith Ferrazzi, Tony Hsieh, Seth Godin, Chris Guillebeau and Dan Pink....I am going to issue a challenge to the world:
Stop looking for statistics to marginalize thought leadership (or lack there of)
Stop looking for the next catch phrase to fuel white paper and webinar dribble
There are 3 trends that I would like to see sunset in 2011:
The request for ROI
X, Y, Boomer
The Millennials are taking over the workplace, the Baby Boomers are retiring. We get it: different generations have different forms of education, training and resource access. Regardless of our date of birth, We are not babies. Quit trying to simplify the organizational vision 'in terms we can understand'.
How do you think your Gen Y employees feel when you publish marketing materials that categorize them as complacent?
How do you think Baby Boomers feel when you invalidate their existence?
Here's the big picture: There are 90 year old people who are wizards on an I-pad and 22 year old people that do not use Facebook.
When a 'new' worker comes into a company an elder statesman or woman pulls him/her aside and tells them 'how it is around here'. The 'new' person dismisses the elder statesman or woman as insecure and shoots for their sales record. At a certain point the 'new' person begins to assert themselves and the elder statesman or woman dismisses them as a loud mouth without a proven track record. It's exhausting...and there in lies my point!
Return Our Investment
ROI is the talk of the town. Show me the money. Show me how my competitors have used your services and how they have profited accordingly. I want a formula to show to my boss to defend my decision in case the 'vendor' turns out to be bad at what they do.
Are we not beyond the point of needing a reciept to validate our decisions? Can we not watch 3 acts on American Idol and decide whose record we would buy? Can we not judge human character rather than crunching numbers.....?
Trust Fuels Partnerships!
The request for an ROI formula enhances BS, it does not dissolve it!
A diatribe in Defense of what I'm about to say....
Test your client's company culture. Make an inquiry. If you get a 2 paragraph diatribe...the culture is broken.
The 'struggling economy' (another tired term) has prompted Managers to beat their employees into submission. It is no longer OK to say, 'I screwed up'. You have to explain every detail of the thought process and every other person who touched the product....Micro-Management driven by negative consequence creates a culture of fear and paranoia. Motivation is replaced by indecision, blame passing and the unexplainable need to explain one's every action. Employees are forced to beg forgiveness before they act....It's Exhausting and there in continues my point!
We Have To Get Better!
4 wishes for 2011:
1. Dissolve catch phrases that marginalize our behavior
2. Stop simplifying employees existence by categorizing by generation
3. ROI formulas are BS...build trusting relationships instead
4. Dispel transparent insecurity by trusting your employees to make decisions
Don't Forget to Remember!