Leaders and managers frequently reference the well-known Albert Einstein maxim when something in their businesses isn’t working despite repeated attempts. What would Einstein think of employee engagement, if anything?
Doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different outcome is the definition of insanity.
Gallup, a renowned research company, has been the gold standard for employee engagement for the past 20 years. According to Gallup’s study, the proportion of engaged workers has changed during the last ten years. 30 to 36 percent, with a low of 30.
Before the epidemic changed the data’s direction, much had been said about the increase in engagement over the previous ten years.
Einstein would probably concur with my former Cisco employer. Former CEO John Chambers is renowned for saying that Cisco’s failed expectations were:
I never equate hard work with accomplishments.
Increasing only six percentage points over a ten-year period. It takes a lot of “hard work” to achieve anything lasting from such a small starting number.
Alternatives to Collaboration
I’ve had the good fortune to collaborate with hundreds of businesses and their executive teams. Particularly when I published The Collaboration Imperative, which documented the best practices employed by Cisco in its move from a culture centered on the internal rivalry to one based on internal collaboration.
These listening sessions have led me to the conclusion that, in the absence of concrete evidence, some notions do exist in organizational thought. I’m not sure how these concepts first came to be. The concepts are ingrained, I only know that.
For example – the way leaders and managers look at employee engagement nowadays. It makes me think of how businesses approach career planning. Despite the huge body of evidence pointing to a different reality, it is believed to be the employee’s responsibility.
If workers are in charge of their own careers, why is “my manager” the most common excuse given for leaving a company?
Worker Engagement Is Negative
I’ve spent the epidemic supporting a sizable, practical research study on the factors that influence employee retention. I was curious as to what it would take to persuade a worker to suggest their place of employment.
We’ve been measuring the wrong things when it comes to employee engagement, according to both our primary research and the extensive collection of company data we collected for the second portion of our study.
According to our findings, employee engagement is really inverted.
We should measure how involved leaders and managers are rather than how engaged employees are.
Our evidence-based model showed a substantial, positive linear association between the level of leadership and management engagement and the propensity of employees to suggest their place of employment. In other words, the higher the possibility that an employee will suggest to the employer, the more invested leaders, and managers are in developing an organizational culture with their teams. Our findings are confident within a 95% range.
Leadership’s Effect on Employee Engagement
similar to career planning It’s time to accept that managers and leaders influence whether or not a company’s culture appeals to customers. An organization’s global cultural values are created by its leaders, and they are put into practice locally by managers.
The foundation of a company’s values is human behavior, not a billboard on the wall. Starting with setting an example as managers and leaders, values-based behaviors are encouraged. If the management team is not engaged, how can we expect the workforce to be?
I want to again turn to Einstein for guidance if we’re going to innovate in the way we approach employee engagement.
For his famous thinking experiments, Albert Einstein.
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