Every two weeks we bring you opinion, news and research on Employee Engagement, Leadership and Organisational Performance, along with some thoughts on practical workplace applications.
Editorial: Look for Engagement Below the Surface
Susan Cain’s book, “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking” tackles the problem that, whilst most organisations are careful to avoid discrimination on almost every front, many by their very nature discriminate (admittedly unwittingly) against introverts in favour of extroverts. For example, open plan offices are often seen to be better for driving innovation and creativity – but not necessarily if you’re an introvert, for whom quiet space to think and recharge ones batteries is vitally important.
Experience suggests that Cain is right: organisations tend to value obvious participation, seen through contribution to meetings, lively involvement in projects, proactive networking and friendly relationships around the office (none of which, of itself, necessarily equates to higher employee engagement). But we make a huge mistake in ignoring those whose preference is for introversion; their contribution may not always be as ‘visible’ but what they frequently bring is a balance and richness to problem solving, analysis, decision-making and risk analysis (amongst many other things). We certainly need risk takers, but we also need those who consider if the risk is worth taking.
All this raises the question, “What are the implications of ‘introvert discrimination’ on employee engagement?” Are introverts likely to become disengaged when their preferences and contribution appear to be overlooked? Probably; but so too will extroverts who feel left out or marginalised.
Line managers play a vital role here. They need to know the preferences of their team members and be able to see beyond the behaviours that they are most comfortable with, to ensure every person they lead is recognised for who they are and what they deliver to their team, even when its impact is less immediately apparent.
Don’t mistake introversion for lack of engagement; and don’t mistake extroversion for engagement.
Steve Short – Emenex
Blog: Reality or Integrity
Likened to some reality shows where weekly eliminations add to the excitement, the White House has once again not failed to disappoint as yet another senior advisor was dismissed from their position of power. The credibility of this current administration continues to be called into question; meanwhile, the senate hearings on Russian intervention into the Presidential campaign continues to uncover more evidence that moves President Trump closer and closer to a disciplinary situation.
Whatever the events and outcomes of the US political situation, one thing that has already transpired is the decline of the credibility of the US as a result. Integrity, whether at a personal, organisational or national level is so critical, particularly when it comes to leadership and the willingness of people to follow their direction.
It’s one of the enduring Key Enablers of employee engagement from the initial body of research conducted by the movement Engage For Success. Read more.
Alistair Aitchison – Emenex
What’s the Difference Between Employee Engagement and Experience?
We’ve been in the employee engagement era for the past two or three decades, but the new wave is employee experience, claims Jacob Morgan in his latest book.
Some people think that engagement and employee experience are at odds with each other and that experience has to replace engagement. That isn’t true; engagement and experience can actually work together–in fact, they are vital keys that work together to improve culture.
So what exactly is employee experience? Read much more from Morgan here.
Opinion: ‘Engagement’ Initiatives are Giving HR a Bad Name
Focusing on engagement as an end goal rather than an enabler is a waste of everyone’s time and efforts, writes Ian P Buckingham
Employee engagement, says Buckingham, is a state of mind in which employees deliver to their full potential because of an emotional and rational connection with the organisation they work for. It is no more complicated than that. It does not require dozens of definitions. It certainly is not, as many commentators imply, a goal in and of itself. Employee engagement is a means to an end, and that end is the achievement of the objectives of the organisation.
Drawing from his experience he sets outs in People Management his systematic approach for companies to bring about sustainable, positive change.
Workers With ‘Careers’ Happier Than Those with ‘Jobs’
Nine in 10 (92%) women feel they are not fulfilling their professional ambitions.
Workers who consider themselves to have a ‘career’ rather than just a ‘job’ are much more likely to be happy at work, according to research from independent school GSM London. The survey of 1,000 UK adults found that three in 10 (30%) employees with a ‘job’ said they are unhappy at work, compared to just 11% of those with a ‘career’.
Alex Reid, careers adviser at GSM London, warned of the missed opportunity this represents. He urged employers to recognise the importance of empowering employees to fulfil their career ambitions.
More on this story here from HR Magazine
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