Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Engagement Drivers?

Aon Hewitt puts out a survey on global engagement. However, they're not measuring engagement. They're measuring what they think are the drivers to employee engagement: "the state of emotional and intellectual involvement that motivates employees to do their best." (By the way, they think it has increased slightly this past year.)

I'm not sure if they've done correlations and regression analysis to know that their factors are indeed the elements that create engagement. A lot of times I simplify the way to increase engagement: leadership needs to engage (i.e. have constructive, empathetic interactions with the employees) and they will be engaged with the organization. Each person is looking for different levels of interaction and styles of interaction. "One size fits all," one wag observed, "didn't work for pantyhose and it shouldn't work for your organization."

Some of the sub-categories on which the survey reports include effective leadership (hmm, like beauty is in the eye of the beholder?), effective communication (that's about as broad a sub-category as you can get),  HR practices creating a positive work environment (I get this), perceiving relationships with customers as rewarding (this affects how many people in your organization? not many unless you're a service or sales company), and workplace safety and security (yeah, if they think you don't care about them, they won't care about you).

I've blogged about communication a number of times. Again, there's a tendency to use a "one size fits all" approach. Many times we say what we want to hear in the way we want to hear it. This may not work for the majority in your audience--whether it's a company meeting, team meeting, newsletter, paycheck stuffer, etc. If you don't care enough to know about them and what is important to each of them, they won't care about what you think is important.

Aon Hewitt may be correct that these are the drivers of engagement. However, they're not talking to the employees. I would think that if they don't take the time to find out what "they" think, "they" don't think much of what Aon Hewitt thinks.

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