Employee Engagement

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I can’t take it anymore.

I need to tell you something.

I don’t believe in employee engagement.

I know, I know. You’re shocked.

Let me tell you something simple: I don’t think it’s the responsibility of an organization to ensure that the employees are engaged. This isn’t preschool. We’re all adults. We have college degrees, mortgages, and children. Responsibilities.

Companies have a responsibility to be profitable, respectful to their workers, and to behave in a fiscally prudent manner. Employees get paid to work. They make choices about their level of engagement based on all sorts of factors including values, personal beliefs, and faith in the organization and products/services that are being offered.

If I were back in Corporate America, I would stop worrying about employee engagement and I would start thinking about how I could offer something meaningful and relevant to my employees. A better compensation plan? (Sure.) A heartier benefits package? (Okay.) A more robust product or services portfolio? (Yes.) Better earnings? (Hello.) Fiscal responsibility at the executive level? (Absolutely.) Common sense values and a commitment to open and honest communication? (Duh.) How about an opportunity for employees to make a difference and actually earn an opportunity to achieve some portion of the American dream? (That might be going too far.)

When you call it employee engagement, you stick it in the ghetto with all the other employee-focused programs. When you call it organizational or operational excellence, you’ll get somewhere.

Employee engagement is for those who want to host team building events and run a Meyers-Briggs session for IT professionals in Overland Park, KS. I speak from experience here. If you really want to make a difference outside the walls of HR, treat your employees like adults and dream bigger than implementing the results of a Gallup Q12 survey.

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