Gallup sees a clear divide emerging within the engagement industry. On one end of the spectrum are scientifically validated approaches that lead to changes in individual and business performance. When surveys are supported by strategic performance solutions, organizational cultures shift. These approaches require more intentionality and investment, however companies that use them are more likely to see increases in employee engagement.
At the other end of the spectrum are invalidated, unfocused annual surveys. Much like a traditional employee satisfaction survey, this type of survey usually measures a multitude of workplace dimensions with limited alignment with business objectives. These surveys can be difficult to use to design improvement programs based on results.
Technology makes it easy to create an "employee survey" and call it an engagement program, which allows a company to fulfill an apparent organizational need and "check a box." But metrics on their own don't drive change or increase performance. Many of these survey-only approaches measure employee perceptions and provide metrics instead of improving workplaces and business outcomes.
According to Gallup, when companies focus exclusively on measuring engagement rather than on improving engagement, they often fail to make necessary changes that will engage employees or meet employees' workplace needs. These shortcomings include:
- Viewing engagement as a survey or program instead of as an ongoing, disciplined method to achieve higher performance.
- Focusing more heavily on survey data or reports than on developing managers and employees.
- Defining engagement as a percentage of employees who are not dissatisfied or who are merely content instead of focusing on a state of strong employee involvement, commitment and enthusiasm.
- Relying on measures that tell leaders and managers what they want to hear – "We're doing great!" – rather than research-based metrics that set a high bar and uncover organizational or management problems that are hindering engagement and performance.
- "Feeding the bears," or measuring workers' satisfaction or happiness levels and catering to their wants, instead of treating employees as stakeholders of their future and their company's future.
About Dr. Maynard Brusman…
Consulting Psychologist & Executive Coach
Emotional Intelligence and Mindful Leadership Consultant
Are you a purpose-driven executive leader who wants to be more effective at work and get better results? Emotionally intelligent and mindful leaders build trust, and inspire people to become fully engaged with the vision and mission of their company. They build coaching cultures of positive engagement.
Over the past thirty-five years, I have coached hundreds of leaders to improve their leadership effectiveness. After only 6 months, one executive coaching client reported greater productivity and more stress resiliency helping her company improve revenues by 20%. While this may depend on many factors most of my clients report similar satisfaction in their EQ leadership competence leading to better business results.
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