Forget About Employee Engagement!

David Zinger wrote an interesting piece titled “Why Your Organization Should Forget About Employee Engagement”. David says that organizations need not embark on the “engagement” journey if they are not “ready, willing and able” for it. Senior executives and HR need to instrospect on why they need an engagement program, how it could benefit the organization and how will this be executed. Here is a handy list of questions leaders might want to ask themselves:

  • Do we believe we can change engagement in this organization?
  • Do we have the will to improve engagement?
  • Do we have the skill to improve engagement?
  • Do we know the key variables to improve?
  • Do we know how to improve these key variables?
  • Will we allocate adequate resources (people, energy, money) to improving engagement?
  • Will we integrate engagement work throughout the organization or will it reside only in HR or internal communications?
  • Will engagement be an important line function?
  • Will we adequately train our leaders, managers, supervisors, and staff to improve their own engagement and the engagement of others?

This is indeed very helpful. From practical experience, I feel that there is a lot of “haziness” around the what, why and how of employee engagement. It is just not a matter of “just do it”, but also getting it right! So, if your organization is not perfectly ready for it, don’t just start off “another” initiative. David says:

Radical non-intervention may at least prevent a further deterioration of engagement scores due to cynicism.  A mediocre engagement initiative may result in more cynicism, tax limited energies, or create another flavor of the month organizational program that erodes decreasing levels of faith and trust in the organization.

Very useful advice – that’s all I can say.

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2 thoughts on “Forget About Employee Engagement!

  1. What you write is very true. Employee engagement has become a trendy term that can mean everything or nothing. The best programs extend beyond HR and connect employees with the brand and customer perspective as well. I have written about this at


  2. Thanks Carol! I agree Employee Engagement needs to be connected to customer perspective as well. And definitely, such programs need to extend much beyond the HR to the individual people managers and leaders.


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