I Don’t need an Engagement Study to tell if someone is engaged

To this employee retention speaker and employee retention author all the talk about knowing who is fully engaged, who is somewhat engaged and who is disengaged is overblown.  We then do a big study to see who those people are.  I don’t need some study to tell me that.  All I have to do is walk down the aisles of an organization and start chatting people up or simply sit back like a fly on the wall and observe behavior to be able to tell you who falls into those categories.

When I walk down the aisle, I can see who is working, who is staring off in space and who is making work.  Then, I take the numbers and quality that they are producing, and they generally match up.  I don’t need an engagement study to tell me who doesn’t give a damn and is disengaged.  Their attitude will tell me that.  Granted, the engagement study gives us the big picture but will not tell us who is disengaged so we can do something about it.  It takes a leader to do that!  It takes a leader who will get out of their office, observe, and talk to their people.

If this employee retention trainer thinks someone is disengaged, I look at the numbers they are producing.  Then I sit down and have an open conversation with that person.  We discuss their production, their behaviors and their demeanor to both internal and external customers.  That information will tell me everything.  I will ask what they like about their job and the organization and what they don’t.  I will take this data and begin to develop an action plan with the disengaged employee to get them engaged.  If I don’t see progress, I make adjustments and then decide what actions need to be taken.  If the person is still fully disengaged and shows no inclination to become engaged, I will exit them from the organization and replace with some who is engaged.   It is pretty simple.  I don’t need some study to tell me what I can find out by leading proactively.

If your organization has a disengaged workforce, you probably aren’t giving them C.R.A.P.  C.R.A.P. sends the message you care and respect people.  Often that can change a culture to one where people aren’t disengaged because they know you care.  It is far better to build a culture of C.R.A.P than it is to drive for results.  If you build the culture…results will follow.  If you do an engagement study…you get an engagement study!

Jeff Kortes

jeff@humanassetmgt.com

Jeff speaks and conducts workshops regularly in Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota and Indiana. He draws on his experiences as a human resources professional, father, coach, martial artist and U.S. Army veteran to provide thought-provoking programs that yield results.