1) Employee engagement is not new and hasn’t been for more than 100 years. Beginning with an example in 1864 and continuing through the 1920s, the article highlights several companies that implemented what we would now define as employee engagement with the aim of “making employees feel secure, loyal and engaged.”
2) The benefits of engagement are real, but the motivation behind working toward an engaging culture must be sincere. As the article says:
“Employee engagement is such a hot topic because after ruthless cost-cutting, knee-jerk decisions and general short-term panic during a difficult economic downturn, company leaders want to sweeten up their staff so they don't run away to other employers once the recession has ended. If you are thinking about launching an employee engagement programme to make up for the pain and suffering staff have been through during the downturn, you are already too late.”
David Zinger, a widely respected guru of employee engagement, made this statement the first of his 15 Employee Engagement Beliefs:
“Employee engagement is an experience to be lived, not a problem to be solved.”
If you are sincerely interested in employee engagement, then your primary concern should be to create culture in which employees want to engage. Be sure to catch my next post on Wednesday when I will discuss David’s latest vision of an employee engagement model.