Engage your brain

There is an intrinsic stupidity around the work on employee engagement. But it’s not the one you might think it is, oh no. The real intrinsic stupidity, it goes a little something like this:

Bright eyed and bushy tailed HR professional receives the annual employee engagement survey results from ACME Consultants Ltd and declares, “we’ve increased engagement to our highest level yet, it now stands 69%”

And we need to reflect on this for a second.

– Is the stupidity that we are happy that we have staff that are less than three quarters engaged?

– Is the stupidity that we’ve taken our budget and spunked it up the wall to please ACME Consultants Ltd?

– Is the stupidity that we believe in engagement at all?

But as I say, we need to reflect.

Let’s for one slightly scary and heart stompingly dangerous moment make three bold assumptions.

– Three quarters engagement is not bad

– ACME Consultants Ltd aren’t a bunch of parasitical idiots

– Engagement is a purposeful measure

Bear with me, I know some of you are going to be hurting right now and I admit that as I write these words, my eyeballs are seeping a little bit of blood.

Because the intrinsic stupidity is none of these things.

It is this.

We increased engagement?

Did we?

What level did it start at?

How many disengaged people did you recruit?

The thing is, most people join a company motivated and happy. And yes, if you want to use the term, engaged. Most people are pleased to get a job offer and go along on their first day thinking that they’ve fisted laid the golden goose.

And then bad stuff happens. Because we disengage, demotivate and depress them with our poor management, disorganisation and completely ineffective HR management systems. We actively and slowly kill their passion.

That’s what we’re doing every day. We are managing the heart and soul and lifeblood out of the poor suckers who took the King’s Shilling in good faith. Maybe not consciously, but certainly effectively.

So this week and the week after. In fact, for the rest of your working life. Don’t focus on the shiny stupid nonsense that you think will engage people. Focus on the stuff that you do that actively disengages them.

Do less.
Think more.
Make it simple.

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