Friday, November 1, 2013

Disengagement: I'm Not Buying It!

Gallup released it's "State of the Global Business" report for 2013. The results are unbelievable.

According to Gallup:
    1. Worldwide, only 13% of Employees are Engaged at work. 
2. The Actively Disengaged outnumber the Engaged 2 to 1 in the workplace.

So, if 2 of every 10 of your employees are engaged you are an above average organization?
More people hate their job than those who love it?

Are you willing to accept that? 

...because I'm not!

How Do You Define Engagement?
The concept of Employee Engagement has been tied to Employee Recognition. They are not one-in-the-same. For instance, a plaque in recognition of 20 years of service may loosely be viewed as a benefit but it certainly isn't a strategic engagement tool. In the classes I have facilitated in the HR space this year, Baby Boomers are consistently pushing back on offering programs that afford the "trophy generation" a trophy for just showing up....but, then....isn't a service award the same thing? 

Gallup measures absenteeism (or lack there of) as an engagement metric. Really? Talk about rewarding people for just showing up. There is no such thing as being absent from work. We are working all the time. The problem is that certain organizations are choosing to measure engagement by the wrong metrics.
What's Your Currency?  
Rule #3 of the New Rules of Engagement is: Make Money a Non-Issue. What? We shall not work pro bono....what's in it for me? Guess what, fewer people are asking that question in today's workplace. 

In 2013, more people have used their recognition currency to support charities. More people in this day-and-age attend company sponsored community development events than ever before. A company's competitive advantage is now measured by how collaborative they are. 

Susan Andrews recently explained Citi's Innovation Strategy. This is a person who left the world's most innovative company to work for a bank. Why? Because it's easy to move forward at a forward-thinking company. Those who really want to make a difference take on seemingly insurmountable organizational roadblocks with a sledge hammer and a lot of conviction. 

We cannot create engagement by duplicating best practices. We have to explore and re-align to what will only work at our company. A vendor cannot sell us engagement, we have to create what is genuinely ours and use that as a strategic cultural advantage.
I Like Our Odds!
Engagement is the act of catapulting every employee to Self-Actualization. We don't believe that is possible because we lend too much credence to surveys, pay attention only to the squeaky wheels, buy one-size-fits-all programs from uninventive vendors, and think technology can solve human problems.

I'm not willing to accept 20% engagement as a standard for efficiency! We should all seek to be excellent not average. We should invest in our people by listening to and rewarding their ideas. We should kick down the boardroom door and put our plan on the table.

The professional world is shifting. If we don't change the way we design organizational initiatives (and promote those initiatives to tomorrows rock stars) we will drown on the ship called "Efficiency". Being average is not good enough. We need to stop relying on the turn-key stop gaps and seek to change the world.

We can change the employee at a time!

Don't Forget to Remember!


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