I remember when I got engaged to be married, an ex-colleague likening it to the concept of engagement at work. When you really are engaged at work you do it because you really enjoy it, you give your all and you, hopefully, love what you do. Your work relationship is not just transactional when you really are engaged. Hopefully most marriages are also like this. It’s a rather romantic notion of engagement don’t you think? I do have to point out that this ex-colleague was saying this rather sarcastically because he was an engagement sceptic.
I used to be a sceptic too and I still am to some extent. I’m slowly, getting convinced that there is a link between engagement and performance. But I have not yet seen enough evidence of this to fully convince me. Much of the evidence there is comes from consultants who, I believe, have a vested interest in selling this fact. I also believe it is very difficult to link engagement to performance when there are so many other variables at play.
One of those variables includes how people define engagement. It seems that most consultancies have different ways of doing this and one consistent term is a slippery concept.
Furthermore, the engagement survey measures the outcomes of engagement, usually at a single point in time. I think that part of the problem here is that engagement is highly contingent on a feeling. Theoretically, you should be able to measure the outcomes of a feeling, but how do you truly define and measure what goes on within people’s hearts. How do you know it until you’ve felt it?
We will be going into a whole lot of facets of engagement in the month of July. I hope you can join us on the engagement journey. To start us of, the questions for this week are:
Q1) How do you define engagement? What does that actually mean?
Q2) Do you think engagement and performance are linked? Why? Why not? Do you have any examples?
Q3) Can you truly measure engagement through a survey? How could you do this differently?
Q4) Why is engagement such a compelling topic? Or why not?