The fallacy of ‘instant’ employee engagement

It’s not something that happens overnight like some ‘miracle’ weight-reduction formula. Empowering your staff requires diligence, time and measurement of key factors.

Several months ago, I wrote an article suggesting that employee engagement had come of age.

The detractors were coming out of the woodwork and challenging the statistical relevance of engagement surveys. Were they causal or correlative? Doesn’t matter. Do they work? The answer is absolutely yes.

So, why should we all be angry about where the market is going today? Many people are now selling “instant” solutions to employee engagement: “Use this technology and your employees will become engaged right away.”

What a load of rubbish. Employee engagement is about the culture of leadership in a company. It isn’t about finding the latest fad.

It seems employee engagement is becoming like our wonderful diet industry: “Take this supplement and melt the pounds away! No need to exercise!” Please.

Engaging employees is about doing the basics really well:

  • Have clear plans.
  • Listen to employees.
  • Give valuable feedback and coach employees for performance.
  • Take the time to recognize good performance.
  • Care about your people.

Like keeping fat off and being healthy, having engaged employees doesn’t take a lot of money, but it does take a conscious effort to build the right culture. You aren’t going to get a beach body in 30 days. It will take time; it will take commitment.

Download the free white paper, “How to reach and engage employees,” to discover how organizations use video to boost employee engagement.

To get started, work with a reputable firm to measure the key variables to engagement. Put plans in place to correct any issues you find—and then do it all again.

Remember, you can’t manage what you don’t measure.

Have you tried an “instant” employee engagement solution? What were your experiences? Please offer your thoughts in the comments section.

Dwight Lacey is president at Workplace Engagement Insights. A version of this article first appeared on LinkedIn.

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