Motivating and Engaging without the Tricks

David Zinger, author of the Employee Engagement Zingers blog and host of the Employee Engagement Network, recently blogged on his Employee Engagement Rants. Two in particular “engaged” me:

“Let’s stop calling it employee engagement.” – David’s point is the label “employee engagement” tends to blame the employee if they are not engaged, neglecting to consider the necessary contributions of leaders and managers. He suggests calling it “work engagement” instead. While I understand the spirit of David’s message, others in the engagement blogosphere argue that employees must be active participants and driving forces in increasing their own engagement as well. As I’ve seen in practice at our many client sites and has been proven through various research studies, engagement can only be achieved when both the employee takes responsibility for their own effort and managers encourage, support and acknowledge the value of that effort.

“No more carrots, no more sticks, no more motivational tricks.” – David’s point here is that we should “appreciate the complexity and diversity of work while engaging in personal and interpersonal action to foster authentic, real, and robust engagement.” As we at Globoforce have said for years, a simple and sincere “thank you” can go so much farther in helping colleagues realize their own value and feel fulfilled in their roles/efforts at work. More often than not, this also helps motivate them to greater performance.

How do you help your colleagues realize their value in their work? Do you contribute positively to this? Does anyone contribute positively to you in this way? Be sure to take our weekly poll.

2 comment(s):

At October 29, 2008 6:37 PM, David Zinger said...

Hi Derek,
I sometimes think that as employees we are ultimately responsible for our own engagement while everyone is accountable. I think when there is a high level of disengagement in an organization we might consider calling it organizational disengagement rather then employee engagement. If the organization would strongly connect with employees and do many of the things you suggest in your blog than we all might be doing better.

Take care and stay engaged.

David

At October 30, 2008 8:21 AM, Derek Irvine said...

This is a great point, David, and in line with our philosophy that I've discussed in previous blogs -- employees taking personal responsibility for engagement too, and also the idea of a systemic, in-the-corporate-DNA type of dis-engagement. This raises the question -- What does one do when disengagement has become a company value?! Of course, we believe it then becomes necessary to acknowledge that and change the very social architecture of the company to facilitate a culture of appreciation.

I'd love to hear the perspective of our readers on this.