Don’t be creepy if you want to create fuller employee engagement
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This is the second post in a series on iatrogenic disengagement. Iatrogenic disengagement occurs when our efforts at employee engagement fail and cause disengagement. Read the first post here.
Creepy employee engagement approaches occur when they are inauthentic or manipulative. Perhaps the leader or manager seems to be saying and doing the right things but something just does not feel right. I believe our social brain is wired to detect creepy through our spindle cells and mirror neurons. For example, a manager learns that strength based conversations have a high probability to reduce employee disengagement. He or she endeavours to hold these conversations with staff but they seem so out of character and feel manipulative. This “creepiness” will cause disengagement rather than reduce it.
Cure: The cure is to ensure all employee engagement efforts are based on caring and focused on the benefits for all. Our actions, conversations and interventions must be respectful and human. It can be helpful to be skeptical but counterproductive to be cynical. Let’s stive for “real” employee engagement efforts that make a difference for everyone.
David Zinger is an employee engagement speaker and expert who abhors creepy approaches at work.