A recent article in Psychology Today does a nice job of differentiating employee engagement from business results. (In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that it also references our recent Talent Management article on the subject.)
It suggests that, given the general lack of evidence on the relationship between engagement and the bottom line, employers might be wise to reduce their heavy focus on engagement.
Instead, in light of evidence they cite that “productivity was enhanced in workplaces where daily occurrences that bring about joy, interest, and caring that lead to high level of bonding of individuals to each other,” they suggest that oganizations should instead incorporate current employee engagement efforts into a broader strategy of enhancing employee well-being at work.
Great post on the Fistful of Talent blog yesterday, exploring the link between employee engagement and workplace processes. The post discusses a quote from Steve Church, Chief Operational Excellence Officer at Avnet:
“If you help employees fix broken process, you’ll gain employee engagement.”
We couldn’t agree more. And we’re always delighted to encounter perspectives in which employee engagement is tied to work elements that directly affect an organization’s bottom line.
The HR profession has bought into psychologists’ construct of employee engagement – hook, line and sinker. And that, in my view, helps to keep the HR profession stuck where it is – hoping for, but not earning, the elusive “seat at the table.”
At its core, engagement really has little, if anything, to do with how work gets done and results get produced in an organization. And so when HR professionals focus (obsess) on measuring it, they do so at the expense of more critical items such as work processes, social learning, the quality of the hiring process, and accountability.
In “Debunking Employee Engagement Myths,” an article just published in Talent Management, Dan McMurrer and I dive into these ideas in detail, and lay out the research that has shaped our thinking on this issue.
We expect to take some flak for this perspective, but hope also to do some good in the process. We’d love to hear your thoughts!