We have only moments to work…
by David Zinger
Troubling surveys. I am troubled by the plethora of employee engagement surveys and assessments. There are endless statistics generated to look at the various percentages of employees who range from full engagement to disengagement.
Change in 10 seconds. I believe that many of us have our relationship with work change in 10 seconds.
Fluctuating engagement. When I look at my own work – my engagement with each task and each person fluctuates. I am engaged in one task for the first hour of the day…I procrastinate on the next thing demanding my attention and end up doing an Internet search on puffins rather than making some important phone calls.
Disengagement as texting during meetings. I engage fully with one of the teams I am on and go the extra mile with full discretionary effort yet while sitting in a meeting with the next team I am barely present and thinking about other tasks while I watch 3 other members of the team text-ing their way right out of the meeting as the engage with their Blackberries.
Macro and mirco engagement. So we have these global assessements or macro views of employee engagement but our engagement fluctuates guite a lot each day. We must ensure that our macro view of engagement does not blind us to these micro moment changes of engagement. Perhaps we might be missing phenomenal levels of engagement by reducing it to a single number. Reducing employee engagement to a singe number may be a gross oversimplification of engagement that does a diservice to the actual daily fluctuations of engagement.
22% disengagement for 56% of their time. Rather than a number saying 22% of our employees are disengaged, we may need to refine this to say 22% of our employees are disengaged about 56% of their time. So even if your are a “disengaged” employee, if I find out what engages you I might help you work effectively most of the time.
Strengths as engagement. I believe this is where the current work of Marcus Buckingham on strengths is so important. Rather than create a list of strengths we look at those activities that strengthen us. From his perspective, strengths are those activities we fully engage in.
Leader action plan. Spot what engages people where you work, have discussions about this with them, and work at crafting their jobs to help them fully engage with their strengths.
Engaged in writing to stay disengaged from grading. By the way, I was 100% engaged with writing this article but I know I am engaged here as a partial avoidance or disengagement from marking student papers in the university course I am teaching.
What about you? What do you think about employee engagement assessments? Are we missing the moment? Write a comment and let us know.