Cleaning out 13 clogged arteries in employee engagement
Umair Hague wrote an intriguing post on the Harvard Business Review blog entitled: How to Have a Year That Matters. He offered a number of provocative questions, including: Why are you here? What do you want? Who’s on your side? What’s it worth?
The question that caused me to pause was, what breaks your heart?
Follow your passion, we’re often told. But how do you find your passion? Let me put it another way: what is it that breaks your heart about the world? It’s there that you begin to find what moves you. If you want to find your passion, surrender to your heartbreak. Your heartbreak points towards a truer north — and it’s the difficult journey towards it that is, in the truest sense, no mere passing idyllic infatuation, but enduring, tempestuous passion.
This made me think about what breaks my heart about employee engagement.
Here are 13 of my employee engagement heart breakers:
- Employees who experience work as sheer drudgery.
- Employees who are totally drained at the end of the day and have nothing left for their family.
- Parents who complain day after day about their work in front of their children and believe they are victims.
- That any employee, in any organization, would feel invisible and go unrecognized.
- The amount of productivity and performance that drains out of organizations because of disengagement.
- That we probably spend more money on employee engagement surveys than actually improving employee engagement.
- That employees and organizations believe that for honesty to occur surveys must be anonymous.
- That anyone would see disengagement as a punishable offence rather than a trigger for a conversation.
- Organization who “get” employees to engage rather than let employees engage and believe that there are “rules” to follow.
- When engagement is seen merely as sucking out more discretionary effort from overtaxed employees.
- CEO’s who fail to see they are employees and refer to employees as them or human capital.
- A mad dash to quarterly results at the expense of employees or organizational sustainability.
- The worry that employee engagement will die as a management fad rather than to truly improve how we work, manage and lead.
What breaks your heart in regards to work, management, leadership, and employee engagement?
Employee engagement works when it works for the benefit of all and does not cause heartburn or heartache. I know my heart breakers mean that I am working in the area that I need to be working in and I have found or created my heartfelt calling to improve the world of work.
David Zinger is an employee engagement expert who is willing to have his heart broken and also willing to develop and deliver on strong approaches to create hearty employee engagement for the benefit of all.