Coming in hot from a trip to the west coast where I had great conversations and less great sleep. Nothing says “good sleep” than an economy coach seat, a hyperactive seat mate, no window and a faulty overhead air blower. #Winning! But I shouldn’t complain… as Louis CK says:

“‘I had to sit on the runway for 40 minutes.’ Oh my god, really? What happened then, did you fly through the air like a bird, incredibly? Did you soar into the clouds, impossibly? Did you partake in the miracle of human flight and then land softly on giant tires that you couldn’t even conceive how they put air in them?…You’re sitting in a chair in the sky. You’re like a Greek myth right now.”

I’m living the life of what my pretty recent ancestors would have attributed to the gods. Call me an tired and grumpy Zeus (oh to have his abs).

But I digress. Here’s a couple of no-sleep points of view on this Friday.

  1. Opinion and conversation about employee engagement are now good substitutes for study and research. Once again I watched as a discussion Employee Engagement blew up into an opinion cage match – everyone weighing in with an opinion on what engagement is, how it is imbued, who’s responsible. This says one of two things: One – there is no research on employee engagement or Two – the research isn’t making any sense.
    .I fall in the second camp. The studies cited by many use different criterion. Much of the corporate sponsored “research” is thinly veiled polling designed to support their product/service. There are multiple definitions and multiple solutions for the same problem.
    I have my opinion. They have their opinion. The discussion on engagement has become a push and the losers are the employees.
  2. Laurie Ruettimann wrote a new post entitled: “Metrics Mess Up Every Job, Not Just Yours” in which she states:

    “You’re measured on stuff that matters to someone else but probably not you.”

    Simply brilliant summation of where we are in the quest for engagement. Here’s a thought. Maybe engagement is measuring things your employees think are important to them and the company. Maybe engagement means exactly what it says – engaging with your employees.

The one thing that both of these discussions always remind me of is that most engagement initiatives designed by companies are impositions on employees. Something the company does to them.

Maybe we should take a clue from the word engagement and sit down and listen.

Maybe we should design engagement from the employee’s point of view and stop doing it from Finance’s POV (ROI, P/L.)

As a manager, I always believe people are competent first.

Maybe we should believe employees know what is needed for them to be engaged and reach out to them and enlist them to design the “engagement initiative” from their point of view?

I know – right?

Have a great weekend. And as Jean Luc says – “Engage!”