Thursday, May 28, 2009

An Employee Engagement Rant

An excellent post from David Zinger on the topic of engagement: 
There is no them.
Broken Keys. I was reading a good book on employee engagement. It was well-written and informative but I got irritated with the authors’ 5 keys to engagement. I won’t give the title of the book because it is not my intent to be negative about the book, it is my intent to suggest we need to be more inclusive and connected when we talk about employee engagement.

From Know to Reward. Here were the 5 keys to engagement the authors used and each of these keys was also a chapter title:

  1. Know Them
  2. Grow Them
  3. Inspire Them
  4. Involve Them
  5. Reward Them

Us and Them? I have no quibble with the first words know, grow, inspire, involve and reward. It is the second word “them” that rankles me. Whenever I hear about them it makes others sound separate or different than us. We will not create engaged, connected, and authentic organizations if we talk about us and them. We may fail to see that “them is us.”

Community of Us. I believe a huge part of creating authentic and permanent employee engagement resides in organization’s willingness and ability to create authentic communities where all are connected to each other, results, strategic objectives, customers, etc…

Different roles but all employees. I also believe if you work in an organization, regardless of role - CEO to custodian - you are an employee of that organization. Employees are not “those people.” Those people are us. So know us, grow us, inspire us, involve us, and reward us —and that includes all of us — employee engagement for all.

No more them. Employees are not apart from the organization they are an integral part of the organization and we would be better served and of better service by not referring to employees as them. 

More on the employee engagement network.


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