Thursday, January 14, 2016

A Disengagement Awakening

It's 2016 and we're still claiming a very small portion of the workforce cares about their job. Gallup has been banging the drum of global disengagement since 2011. The most recent claim that only 3 in 10 people can actually tolerate their job and 2 in 10 hate their job.

I'm still not buying it!

I don't know the questions that fuel Gallup's metric, who they ask or if they are simply positioning to sell their services, but 70% of the workforce ARE NOT disengaged.

The bigger question may revolve around what we perceive to be Disengagement and how we address it.

The A in the SCARF methodology stands for Autonomy. More and more employees are seeking some space and an ability to navigate their own success. With the proper tools, training and a little bit of trust; employees can thrive and managers can concentrate on coaching instead of baby sitting.

Yet and still, Managers are intent upon inserting themselves in their employees every action.... micro-managing where they should be allowing autonomy.

The Challenger Sale identifies a sales characteristic of The Lone Wolf. This person is regarded as disengaged. Yet, he/she is the person on the team that requires the least amount of attention.

Are we really so distrusting of the people we have hired that we feel a grown-ass-man/woman needs someone looking over their shoulder on a daily basis.

Why not put a microchip in each employees neck to track their every move.

A majority of the workforce may be viewed as disengaged because a majority of managers still believe that they need them under their thumb to keep them on task.

Our belief in clock punching as a means to success may be the very thing that is turning organizational advocates into employees of our competitors.

The Truth About Engagement
It is a fact that people will accept less money if their organization trusts them to manage by their own schedule.

It is a fact that employees who are allowed flex time work longer hours and are more productive.

"managers who manage by the clock are dangerously incompetent" - Rodd Wagner

So Then
The Gallup agency has been printing money on the basis of asking employees the same group of questions for 13 years (with very little change in the line of questioning). This benchmarks improvements/decline in engagement and serves the HR Community's greatest asset:

Validation of the past so as not to have to embrace change

  • We are asking the wrong questions.
  • We are over-managing where employees are seeking autonomy. 
  • We are attempting to combat disengagement by doing more of what has disengaged our employees in the first place. 

It's time to change the game. Seeking to control those perfectly capable only drives them away. Those who sit around and take it only do so because no one else will hire them.

Until we step away from the crutch of age-old surveys as our means to measure employee contentment, we will continue to over-spend in the shadow of a problem we are incapable of solving.

Don't Forget to Remember!


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