During conversations over Christmas break with my 22 year-old and my 24 year-old children they were surprised to learn that all this parenting stuff they had to suffer through growing up (and continue to for at least a little while longer) … their mom and I were making up as we went along. Like EVERYONE else, we didn’t know what we were doing. Sometimes you guess right and you repeat it. Sometimes you do it wrong and you don’t. Adulting and parenting isn’t something you know how to do. You just keep doing it and hope you get it right more often than you get it wrong.

Employee engagement is just like that.

All of us – and I truly mean ALL of us – are making it up as we go along. We look for interventions and study the outcomes. We try to repeat those things that seemed to have an effect and hide the things that didn’t so we don’t get fired.


#Nextchat: The Long Now of Employee Engagement

This Wednesday at 3:00 pm ET I’ll be jumping in on the @SHRMNextChat, with the hashtag #NEXTCHAT, to “talk” about employee engagement. Specifically, I’ll be addressing two issues we always want to ignore (and are probably the two things that have kept us from really having any big impact on engagement.)

ONE: The time scale we apply to engagement and

TWO: The continued focus on silver bullets.

Yes… I’ll be taking on some sacred cows.

Yes… you will disagree with me.

Yes… you will do engagement better after the twitter chat. I know I will with your always insightful input. It is a win – win.

As Neils Bohr is credited with saying…

“An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made, in a narrow field.”


I’m and expert AND I’ve stayed at Holiday Inns. Double bonus! Please join me @IncentIntel and @shrmnextchat at 3pm ET on January 13 for #Nextchat and learn from all the mistakes I’ve made.

@SHRMNextChat has planned question but you might see me go rogue now and then (intellectual boxes give me hives.)

“Planned” questions we’ll be addressing include:

  • Survey schmurvey. What are the outward signs and behaviors of a disengaged employee or a disengaged workforce?
  • What part of the employee engagement puzzle are organizations not getting right as they try to combat low scores?
  • What are the biggest challenges to increasing employee engagement in today’s workforce?
  • Why is it important in the new world of work to offer a diverse set of options for employee engagement?
  • Are well-trained and thoughtful people managers the first step to an effective employee engagement strategy? Why or why not?
  • How are you training your people managers to increase engagement amongst individuals and teams?
  • There are many elements to engagement: training, benefits, work flexibility, manager competency, etc. How would you rank them?
  • How can organizations begin to view employee engagement and culture as a long run process instead of a series of quick fixes?

Check it out! Be there Wednesday, Jan 13 at 3:00 pm ET with hashtag #NextChat…

Should be fun and interesting since Ricky Gervais is writing my tweets.