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What Really Engages Employees?

Posted by Bob Corlett on August 11, 2013

A while back, the Washington Business Journal asked me to write something about the Gallup 2013 State of the American Workplace report. I've long thought that Gallup has it backward and said so in a post titled "For Better Employee Engagement, Ditch Your Engagement Projects." In my post I stated that engagement projects are not the path to success. It's better to manage your people well, but chase victory. Engagement will likely follow success, not the Gallup formula of success following employee engagement.

But hey Gallup is very well-known and I am not, so I didn't expect widespread agreement with my post. I was simply satisfied with joining John Sumser in taking the contrarian viewpoint on this important topic.

Well, last week, Dr. Matt Grawitch posted something on the site of the American Psychological Association Center for Organizational Excellence.  The title of the piece was, "I Agree, Bob Corlett: Ditch Those Engagement Projects."

Yeah, I admit, that felt pretty good. I really did not expect that kind of validation.  Naturally Doc Grawitch was more eloquent that I. Here is a snippet from his post:

" ... organizations don’t need “engagement initiatives.” They need effective structures and processes that allow workers to excel and make a positive contribution, that recognize those contributions and that allow workers to meet their professional goals. And they need to do so in a work environment that is respectful of all the demands they face and whose primary output is something other than stress and strain. If you develop sound business structures, processes and work environments, you don’t need to worry about engagement, because it will naturally occur."

If you like that argument, you'll find quite a bit more to like on the APA Center for Organizational Excellence Good Company Blog, check it out.

Topics: Employee Engagement