Engage employees – it’s a two way thing

I was having lunch with her when she said.” I don’t believe in employee engagement.” I was intrigued by her statement, since this colleague is a rational thinker. She explained, ”Companies often have employee engagement “initiatives” during which they give employees gifts or host employee events. Employees in turn, view these “initiatives” as performance incentives and demand more for more performance. The result? Performance does not increase and the company hosts another initiative”
I know what she meant, I saw it before, and responded,“That’s not engagement, that’s a bribe.”
Her eyes lit up “Exactly!”
We discussed some more and agreed on a few things.

  • Employee engagement is not done in a vacuum. It is set in the context of achieving the companies strategic intentions or business outcomes.
  • #EmployeeEngagement is not solely the company’s responsibility nor solely the employees’ responsibility. Employee engagement is jointly the company’s and the employees’ responsibility.
  • The company is like that electrical socket in the wall, and the employee is the plug. Unless the two are connected, at the same voltage, there will be no engagement and it will be difficult to make anything work. The socket needs the plug as much as the plug needs the socket for engagement to happen.

We concurred that definitions are important as some companies practice a different concept of  employee engagement.

  • #EmployeeEngagement is the emotional and intellectual involvement of employees with the work that they do.
  • Emotional refers to the way that the employees feel about what they do, why they do it and how they work. The company / leadership is involved in creating environments or #SafeWorkSpaces that encourage a positive emotional response.
  • The intellectual involvement speaks to how the company envisions employees, its philosophy around Human Capital and how to maximize performance as tasks are performed. For the employees it speaks of their ability, skills set, capacity for learning and how well equipped they are for the job.

What are your questions on #EmployeeEngagement? Post them on my Facebook page MaxineAttong or here and I’ll answer them.

My 5 questions are:

  1. How does Employee engagement contribute to strategic goals?
  2. How to measure Employee Engagement?
  3. What is the leader’s role in Employee Engagement?
  4. What is the employee’s role in Employee Engagement?
  5. How do companies engage employees?

Which of these questions resonate with you?

Maxine Attong is an Organisational Development Consultant who specialises in Employee Engagement. Check out my website www.maxineattong.com to learn more about me.

P.S. Save the date – March 15 2017, Breakfast Seminar: Maximizing Human Capital in the New Economy. Drop me a note for further details

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