• Stuart Agtsteribbe

    Right on Greta! Far too much effort has been dumped into this topic. I have seen organizations whip themselves into an annual froth to drive their cumulative score up by .1% so that management has something to thump their collective chests about.

  • Carol Anderson

    HR, Leadership, engagement, talent management….all cash cows for the consulting and vendor industry (of which I am one). Greta’s point about research being only generalizable beyond the initial project when all variables are the same, is absolutely right. We pour money into quick answers, when the real answer has been there all along – get people committed to and interested in performance, not in feeling good.

  • http://www.rchilli.com/ Vinay Johar

    Wow, suddenly the concepts around employee engagement have taken on a new vogue. Interesting! The information represents that Engagement is not the solution that will guarantee you a successful business. Employee Engagement in this post defines you to understand the real power of straightening employee drives and needs with those of your company. and this is so true! Thanks for the great stuff @GretaRoberts

  • Andrew Marritt

    We agree with Greta that engagement, measured poorly and in a way that limits effective analysis is useless. However the route we took was to take a data scientists prospective to fixing the measurement, rather than rejecting the measure. Engagement certainly doesn’t equal performance but it can be an important lead indicator if done correctly. The big recommendation which I’m sure we’d both agree on is to do the proper analysis with your own data & see if you can replicate / disprove the generalised findings.

    I wrote a longer post in response to this post here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/what-employee-engagement-good-andrew-marritt

  • Scott Mondore

    Greta–great stuff as always. We’ve been screaming about this since 2009!! Real analysis (not correlations, but actual time-series structural equation modeling) with our numerous clients shows no relationship between engagement and business outcomes. It’s a nice metric to track but that’s it. Further, Gallup’s been tracking it for 15 years and it has not moved at all–so all this money is spent on driving engagement and it must not be working. We show leaders what actionable elements on their employee surveys drive actual business outcomes. The so-called ‘thought’ leaders out there still haven’t defined engagement, still don’t know what the right number is and certainly have shown zero ROI. This is how fads start and end and how HR’s credibility gets harmed in the process.

    • http://www.happiness1st.com/ Happiness 1st

      Gallup’s traditional approach will never work–they’re addressing symptoms and not the root cause.

  • http://www.happiness1st.com/ Happiness 1st

    I agree that the current approach to employee engagement (which addresses symptoms and not the root cause) is not working. There is research that shows engagement and outcome are related:

    Harter, J. K., Schmidt, F. L., & Hayes, T. L.
    (2002). Business-Unit-Level Relationship Between Employee Satisfaction,
    Employee Engagement, and Business Outcomes: A Meta-Analysis. Journal of
    Applied Psychology, 87, 268-279.

    Saks, A. M. (2006). Antecedens and consequences of
    employee engagement. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 21(7), 600-619.

  • heathen

    Employee engagement is a collective delusion. A myth, that all staff are encouraged to pay lip service to, but no-one or at least very few people actually believe in private.

    Stacked rankings that include workplace behaviours, only foster the growth of this ongoing culture of collective lying.

    “Oh of course I’m engaged and I take pride in the company and I work outside my comfort zone to liaise with my stakeholders.”

    My rule of thumb is that anyone who says that sort of thing publicly *and* privately is deranged or delusional or both. Its in the same category of lunacy as anyone who regularly says they are “passionate about change”. Either their lying to me or two themselves or both. Either way their to be avoided. To me it is deeply concerning, that that this sort of facade, has now made its way into political speak on either siade of the spectrum.

    Senior leaders seem unaware of this and have bought into the culture of relentless, enforced, staff engagement. When a new CEO took over my company and immediately announced his “vision” (a recognised senior mangement approach, sadly). All of my co-workers thought it was as hilarious as it was irrelevent. But of course no-one expressed this view to management, as this would be “negative thinking”.

  • Thomas Palladino

    It all comes down to the “Y” Variable – how “engagement” is defined.

    If the dependent variable is revenue, costs, widgets manufactured, etc., one can design a powerful equation that identifies the business drivers.

    Not a useful discussion unless we know how the equation is designed.

    Tom Palladino
    Refined Analytics