Part 1: Lies, damn lies, and statistics
I’m angry, even a bit ticked off. If you read my blogs you know that I seldom if ever rant. But I am ticked off at all the measurement of employee engagement where employees tick off measurement boxes in private, an outside company collates all the measurement, and the organization receives general results and recommendations from someone not directly involved in the organization’s engagement.
Don’t get me wrong – I am not against measurement I just don’t believe that anonymous and confidential surveys really address or respond to employee engagement.
Too often the central issues in measuring employee engagement seems research and statistical centered: private, confidential, reliable, valid, and with statistical significance. After much cost, and use of employees’ precious time, impressive numbers are generated and the lofty conclusion: more research is required.
Yet in a recent meta-analysis by the Conference Board – the central conclusion in study after study that involved millions of employees around the world, was that it was the employee’s relationship with their direct leader that was the single biggest driver of employee engagement.
If we know that, why do we persist in these large scale anonymous studies? How does it help to get a measurement of overall organizational engagement without employees talking directly with each other and their leaders?
I advocate a new measurement method in employee engagement: courageous measurement. In courageous measurement leaders and employees work together, the results are transparent, and everyone is accountable for improving engagement – employees, leaders, and the organization. Employees have the courage to genuinely rate and voice how engaged they are, leaders have the courage to do this for themselves, and leaders are courageous to hear what is said followed by the gumption to make changes to enhance engagement.
- If you are a leader, sit down with employees and discuss their engagement. Keep doing this again and again.
- When you encounter someone who is disengaged collaborate with them to rekindle their engagement. If engagement can’t be rekindled determine what changes need to occur.