Why Many Organizations Fail to Engage their Workforce

decisionsOur previous post provided a definition of “engagement,” and noted that a failure to properly define the concept is only one of the most common reasons why so many organizations are unable to engage employees.

Three additional reasons why organizations have traditionally had difficulty or failed in their attempts to engage their workforce include:

  1. Confusing Engagement With Satisfaction And Happiness
    It’s important to note that these two concepts are not the same; while both satisfaction and happiness have positive emotional rings to them (as does engagement), they are not the same as engagement. One can be satisfied or happy at work without
    being engaged. It’s like the difference between being satisfactory versus being excellent.

    Stephen Wendel from HelloWallet, whom we also quoted in our previous post, states, “Happiness is a current emotional state that is often related to many factors that have nothing to do with employment —the weather, family life, personality, etc.” There are happy employees who enjoy their workplace and their colleagues. They are happy to talk with anyone who passes by but happy employees may or may not be involved in doing productive work.

  2. Misunderstanding The Link Between Engagement And Productivity
    Another reason for failed engagement efforts is a lack of understanding the link between engagement and productivity.
    There is considerable research about what truly motivates people. Hands down, intrinsic motivation trumps extrinsic motivation! People are motivated primarily by an intrinsic desire to do a good job, to be considered a valuable asset to their organization and in Deming’s words, “To have joy in work.

    Deming was very clear about how to make sure that employees have “joy” in work — by enabling them with the training, tools, and resources they need to do a good job; to listen to their ideas for improvement and to continuously improve the work of everyone.

    In other words, this new paradigm is: Productivity yields engagement, not the other way around.

  3. Seeking A Quick Fix
    Engagement efforts fail because we wishfully think and hope that a few superficial suggestions and tips for increasing engagement will actually result in substantive change. There is no magic
    bullet for engagement. It requires fundamental culture change and that requires commitment and the required resources.

Read the full article…