The Long Con of Engagement

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We’ve been lied to. We’ve been hoodwinked and bamboozled. We’ve been brainwashed to believe that employee engagement matters. Moreover, that it is our moral obligation to manufacture engaged employees. The simple truth is… engagement is a nice to have, NOT a need to have.

The con unraveled.

Work is work, play is play, work is NOT play, play is NOT work. Our collective focus on engagement clouds our judgment AND litters us with guilt. That somehow we have failed if we and/or our employees don’t LOVE every single thing about what they do for a living. Turns out, most jobs suck. Tangentially, most employers suck. Conversely, most employees suck. With all this suckage… how in the world are we to realistically get folks to fall in love with the TPS reports?  We’re not. We’ll never be able to hit the unreasonable goal. Why? Because we’ve been set up to fail. Some of this is our fault because we actually bought in to the lie that folks should and/or could LOVE work. And, partly because the businesses we work for just need us to toe the line, continue the con sort of speak.

See, American businesses NEED more yield out of each and every worker bee. So they conjured up the concept of engagement… you should love your work, you should be engaged by you work. In fact, if you are NOT engaged by your work… then something is wrong with you. Spooky, spooky… voodoo bulls#*t. Again, take the rose colored glasses off for a minute. Engagement is crap… it’s a big, sophisticated, con.

Work IS work. Get over it.

The real game of work is twofold: (1) performance and (2) retention. Worker bees that suck… well, many ways to treat that… fire em, put em on a plan, mentor them up, etc. Whatever has to be done to get them back to high production rates. Employees that are awesome… again, many ways to treat that. I’d start with paying the better employees more. No matter how many people tell you otherwise… money means more than any of the other shit they pawn off on us. Don’t believe me? Okay, fair enough. Test this in your own personal life… when called upon to give a gift… Christmas, Birthdays, Graduations, etc… simply give an envelope of 100s… tell the person that you cared enough to give cash. It has been my experience that those people will love you… LOVE YOU. That and I don’t need a new effing necktie… no one needs a new necktie. Give cash to your high performers, you’ll thank me later.

The darkness in regards to retention is simple. Companies want to change the power dynamic between employer and employee. What they really want is to have power over employees… the power to choose who stays and who goes. By offering better benefits, cooler work environment and/or better projects, etc… btw, they might call these things elements of “engagement” but really… and secretly… they own you. In fact, you can’t leave… it also means you’ll work harder, longer and/or take the s#*t of the job, crappy bosses, etc… because you have to. No employee wants to leave that heaven on earth. Meanwhile, the employer decides who shall be retained and what crabs get tossed back in the sea, etc. Whether or not you are engaged… meh… that s#*t doesn’t matter.

Let’s keep walking this dog…

I believe that most people, if given the chance… would NOT work. They would rather be doing something else. In short, they would do whatever truly makes them happy… spending time with their families, traveling the world, enjoying a glass of wine or three, etc – you get the idea… they wouldn’t be working. Only workaholics and douchebags (some think of these as two sides of the same coin) really WANT to work. So why is it our mandate to engage people that inherently don’t want to be engaged? I mean, isn’t the whole thing a bit dysfunctional?

Okay, I’ll stop… even my own cynicism can be a bit much…

Do me a favor… for just one moment today… think critically about engagement. Do you really want happy employees? Please stress test the logic… what if they are happy but they suck? Do you still want them in your organization? What’s more important to your particular organization: happiness or competence? And don’t say both… that’s chickens#*t.

I’ll go out on a limb… if you think happiness is even in the same zip code to competence… then YOU are the problem.

Lastly, I’m tired of people pimping out engagement as if it were some super elixir that fixed everything that ails us. It doesn’t. Truth hurts sometimes.

FOT Background Check

William Tincup
WILLIAM TINCUP, SPHR. William is the CEO of HR consultancy Tincup & Co. William is one of the country’s leading thinkers on social media application for human resources, an expert on adoption of HR technology and damn fine marketer. William has been blogging about HR related issues since 2007. He’s a contributor to Fistful of Talent, HRTechEurope and HRExaminer and also co-hosts a daily HR podcast called DriveThruHR. Tweet him @williamtincup and check him out on Facebook and LinkedIn. Not up to speed in the social media game? Reach out via email. William serves on the Board of Advisors for Insynctive, Causecast, Work4Labs, PeopleReport, Jurify, TrackMaven, SocialEars, AppLearn, StrengthsInsight, The Workforce Institute, PeopleMatter, SmartRecruiters, Ajax Workforce Marketing and is a 2013 Council Member for The Candidate Experience Awards. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Chequed and is a startup mentor for Acceleprise. William is a graduate of the University of Alabama of Birmingham with a BA in Art History. He also earned a MA from the University of Arizona and a MBA from Case Western Reserve University.

40 Comments

  1. Mehdi Kajbaf says:

    Your cynicism is in fact too much. You are mixing up engagement with happiness, with is a completely false assertion. You are using engagement as a catch-all term and classifying all work as sucking which is not true (doesn’t have to be anyways if you get creative). You make over generalizations that cloud the issue.

    Is engagement the be all and end all? Of course not. Does a lot of work suck? Absolutely. Do those two points together mean that engagement is a con? NO!

    Engagement is about being very involved in your work (vigor, absorption and dedication as per the academic studies), it’s not about being happy. Don’t you want everyone in your organization to be very much into their work? Of course you do, unless you enjoy having people wasting your resources.

    People who are engaged come up with creative solutions, they go the extra mile for customers, they are safer and healthier (unless it reaches burnout) and they are probably more likely to stay.

    I can agree with you on one major point though, which is that engagement is being used by industry professionals and consultants in a very misleading way. They use it as a catch-all term that ends up meaning very little. Engagement is a real concept though, and it is sad to see it being butchered by all those trying to make a buck off it.

    Reply
  2. William,

    Your perspective is often refreshingly counter current, and this is no exception. The tie between higher engagement and performance is not fully proven. I agree with you on that front. I also agree that employees without the right competencies, learning agility and intellect who are very engaged could still very much underperform. They don’t have the right tools to be successful (like taking a knife into a gunfight).

    Where there just might be some value to managing engagement is in the area of discretionary effort. Other research has shown that as much as 1/3 of some workforces suffer from ‘warm seat attrition.’ Employees who are looking for other work, passively doing the minimum needed not to get fired, and otherwise checked out.

    As you say, some jobs suck and some employees don’t exactly shine. Engagement is about trying to get the very strongest employees you can and making sure they are excited enough about the work they do that they will make the discretionary effort. The goal is not to make them happy, but rather more productive. But with that said, more productive employees are often also better rewarded, promoted faster, recognized and generally happier at work.

    I’m glad you raised this issue as engagement has been increasingly viewed as THE answer to many problems for which it isn’t even that relevant. I just think there are some shades of grey in there (and no, not fifty of them!).

    Reply
  3. Tim Sackett says:

    If William was a G*d, I would pray to him and burn incense and shit.

    T.

    Reply
  4. Frank Zupan says:

    Interesting spin on the topic du jour in “strategic” HR circles…pffffft. Engagement does not equal happiness (echoing other comments) but I also think engagement is subjective, both individually and organizationally.

    Real leaders should be able to define and articulate what engagement means and what value it has for their respective organizations. The grown-ups in the workforce should likewise be capable of defining what personal and professional value engagement has for them as individuals. Everyone gets to make their own call. If my company has a tangible value associated with engagement and you’re personally feelin’ it, groovy, let’s make some money together. If I run a business that’s focused in other areas, that’s cool too.

    BTW-If anyone shows up at your front door selling engagement elixir, you have my permission to slam said door in their consulting face.

    I also think Sackett needs to put the cr*ck pipe down and slowly step away from the keyboard :)

    Reply
  5. Magdalina Hagadalina says:

    Seems like your views are not well embraced.. haha.. I happen to live in “Not-For-Profit “world and what you say is TRUE! Finally someone speaks up! No warm fuzzies. Cold hard facts.. many can’t really take it. Many HR “Professionals”, are working too hard to keep themselves in good light with management and totally miss the boat(the Human part of Human Resources). Engagement isn’t a cure all. PEOPLE doing their work as expected is. Hold people to what is expected day in and day out, work gets done, productivity goes up. Result.. win win …

    Reply
  6. Business is war by other means. War is evolutionary competition expressed by the intellegence of humankind. The history of war (long, detailed, and well-recorded) shows that “engaged” forces almost always defeat demoralized and disengaged forces. You don’t have to be happy to be engaged. Engagement is not another word for satisfaction, joy, interest, or beauty. It may not mean excellence or domination or notable performance. It may come from one leader, or it may be systemic in some times and places.

    Engagement means you are serious about the job, that you will do the job, and that your peers can count on you to do the job. How you feel about that shit is virtually meaningless to everyone but you and your spouse and maybe your BFF.

    Reply
  7. lizz pellet says:

    Oh William, ever the snarky perspective – LOVE it. I was reading this post and it made me happy  but I was working…. Was I engaged in my reading – yes, but I was working…… Do I have the right competencies to read and understand this post – yes. Did this post make me more productive –no. Need I say more?

    Reply
  8. Kris Dunn
    Kris Dunn says:

    How the hell did this get on the site? Who’s the editor? Wait…

    Bertrand nailed it. The only engagement definition that makes sense is discretionary effort, and when it’s present, it’s very real. Lots of snake oil after you get past that simple, yet profound definition of engagement….

    KD

    Reply
  9. Kristie Evans says:

    Interesting comments on engagement. I think a lot of HR has been pushing the engagement story for years. But business knows its a nice to have unless those workers are impacting revenue. THOSE workers need to be engaged. Every one else needs to do their job and support them. And warm seat attrition? That’s just bad management and the organization has a leadership problem if they let it continue.

    Reply
  10. LOL. Well written, funny and it clearly resonates given the snake oil being sold by so many in the engagement game.

    But, rather than clearing up the mis-perceptions of meaning and the corrupted correlations with performance a la the HR Scorecard work of Hueslid, Beatty, Ulrich et. al. , you preferred to kiss the devil and add to the ridiculous notions that you were railing against. Talk about snake oil!

    The result is you sound more like the people you were talking about- opinions based on nothing but your mind set at the time you wrote this, no due diligence of the serious works in defining the concept, the extensive research or the data (yes, data). What was the point of your rant? Was it to dissuade serious students of HR to actually read about the advances in their profession and instead, simply “think deeply” on a lovely afternoon as the clouds waft gently by?

    Normally I would call you and leave a private ‘what were you thinking’ note but, you’ve obviously taken a [hopefully brief] turn to the dark side and, shall I say it, ‘engaged’ the cool kids to pander to your writing skills. So, instead, I challenge you to a public HRDrive duel on the subject of engagement. I’ll bring my friends i.e. Hueslid and Beatty to offer the evidence you clearly ignore and you bring whatever folks you can cull out for eliminating the discussion around engagement as a viable HR tool. Hope you are happy. I am. You can do better. And Tim, g*ds back up their opinions with lightning bolts. This screed was supported by a trickle charge.

    Reply
  11. Paul Hebert says:

    If there were one person I would love to hang with for a few months where all I had to do was drink coffee and absinthe it would be Oscar Wilde.

    “A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.” – Oscar Wilde

    Whether we’ve “proven” the causation of engagement to company performance or not, it is hard to dismiss the fact it is related. If nothing else it is self-reinforcing regardless of which came first.

    I know this to be #truth – Let me compete in a world where my employees are engaged and working toward their goals and mine – against any other company that believes work is work and cash is king. I know I will win that game. And to some degree, enjoy it more.

    The reason we have a “dis-engaged” workforce is that many managers will read and agree with these sentiments – using only anecdotal evidence and opinion as their guide. Unfortunate, but some will think this post wise and insightful. Le, sigh…….

    Reply
  12. Keyla Kirton says:

    So where do I begin?

    William, I believe that you’re also challenging the construct of organizational commitment, Porter, et al. Having done a study on the topic, you are not far from what some researchers have pointed out. Commitment to a job may not be something that an employee can fabricate solely by creating changes in the work environment. In fact, in my study, I my findings lean more towards employees bringing their own ability to commit, and thus find relevance in their work.

    The reason why commitment, or engagement is important is not because it is directly correlated strongly with performance, but most importantly, it influences an employee’s ability to cope with challenges, absenteeism, and other factors that positively influence performance.

    I would love to find out how organizationally committed you really are.

    Perhaps your results would be an interesting discussion for your readers.

    Reply
  13. torin ellis says:

    This was a mean piece – thoughtful. Nailed it. Enough said.

    Reply
  14. Greg Harris says:

    Tincup–this would be a good time for you to say, “jk” or “looks like I’ve been hacked” or “I re-posted this from a column written in 1977.”

    Of course there is snake oil in the OD space. But the good news is the snake oil is easy to separate from real developments being made in the fields of brain science, motivation, and management. Use this as a filter for snake oil: when someone’s talking about engagement, does it make sense to a middle schooler? If yes, they’re legit. If no, they’re selling snake oil.

    Being “engaged” is more about giving a crap…and less about mere happiness. Engaged people deserve to work with engaged people.

    Reply
  15. John Sumser says:

    Some observations.

    While Gerry takes William to task here, I am certainly not the only one who can’t find a standardized definition of engagement. There are academic notions, for sure. But practitioners are all over the map. It’s a Red Herring to claim that the industry definition of something is the academic’s. In practice engagement means many things to many people.

    One definition says “Employee Engagement is the extent to which employee commitment, both emotional and intellectual, exists relative to accomplishing the work, mission, and vision of the organisation. Engagement can be seen as a heightened level of ownership where each employee wants to do whatever they can for the benefit of their internal and external customers, and for the success of the organization as a whole.”

    This is the “how they feel” perspective that dominates the practitioner conversation. As Marty rightly note, it’s nonsense. How one feels about one’s job shouldn’t be the issue. Framing it this way just cause increases in toadyism as employees struggle to prove that they are engaged enough,

    THere is a more midwestern POV expressed in these comments. Understanding that measuring emotional states is a Red Herring, there has been meaningful adoption of Marty’s definition. Great management focuses on measurable behavior and specific outcomes. (or am I missing something, Gerry?) It’s the same as Kris Dunn’s. Engaged employees are people who extra discretionary work.

    If it’s really the performance of discretionary work, doesn’t mean that we want people to do work that they’re not paid to do? If it’s something other than ‘doing the bare minimum to get by’, why aren’t we raising the minimum? If it’s “being serious and reliable about your work”, then the key is hiring the right people and giving them enough resources and authority to get the job done.

    It all sounds like a giant wage-hour claim waiting to happen. If doing the job you were hired to do isn’t good enough, what is?

    If I do what I’m paid to do and say, “hmmm, that’s enough”, aren’t I demonstrating healthy boundaries which have to be the foundation of any work-life balance?

    Reply
  16. The function of a stimulating, cynical and (highly) amusing piece like this may not be to change the world and cause it to spin in the other direction but to hold a mirror up to possible group-think and make sure we all ask ourselves “Are we really as gorgeous as we think”?. In that sense, job well done. I agree with many of the comments – happiness is a (dangerous) red-herring, discretionary effort can be too easily understood as ‘working at the weekend’ by intellectually lazy managers, but like John, finding some way of articulating a definition for “working as well as you can when you are paid to” is more closely aligned to delivering happiness, engagement, loyalty etc than anything else I can think of.

    Reply
  17. Joshua Kahn says:

    The word sucks, the use of it is confusing and ill-defined at best. Aside from that I think it isn’t possible for HR as an entity (or any other entity) to “fix” or “solve” employee engagement. There’s no organizational ointment that can be applied to the wounded to “make them more engaged”. That said, I think the concept of engagement is fine; in the hands of the individual, not coming from the org.

    Engagement, I think, is meant to be like Csikszentmihalyi’s concept of Flow. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flow_(psychology)

    An excerpt:
    “Flow is the mental state of operation in which a person in an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity.”

    Herein lies the problem, engagement, or flow, is too personal, too individual for an outside entity to impact. It’s like caring, or love, or any other emotional or mental state. Think of how you feel when someone tries to get you to care about something for which a rat’s ass you don’t give. It comes off as annoying and meddling, just like this engagement bit.

    The work is either interesting or not; and interesting is in the eye of the beholder. Excel spreadsheets make me want to tear my hair out. Others find them fascinating and can get to a state of flow or engagement when working with them.

    I think humans are complex, I think there’s no magic formula.

    Reply
    • Pam Baldwin says:

      Joshua, thank you for bringing in Csikszentmihalyi’s concept of Flow. You rightly say that it is intensely personal and a mental state that comes from within, and cannot be impacted by outside entitiy. I know when I’m in my “flow,” and it can occur at work or at home. The problem with trying to measure engagement is that it is such a personal construct. I can tell you that I have had “fun” at work and not been engaged. I’ve been satisfied with my work and not been engaged. I’ve also been committed and aligned and yet never felt that I was doing anything but “working.”

      Reply
  18. Audrey Sloofman says:

    Wow! William, you sure took your full dose of cynicism pills this morning! Do you have any idea of what is meant by “engagement”? As a management consultant with Career Systems International, many years of global corporate experience and a specialty in engagement I have some things to say about this matter.

    First of all, most of the people I know do NOT work because they really want to. I do agree with you on that matter. For most of us, myself included, we would be doing something much more personally “fun” and satisfying. (I wish I could just paint and swim all day.) However, MOST of us HAVE to work. In addition, I also agree with you that organizations are really only interested in getting the most productivity out of us. They ARE in business to make money after all.

    There are so many areas I think you are clueless on this issue, William. First of all if you look at the research (and there is a lot of it), as long as people are being paid fairly, the money is 4th in line in the list of things people say they are looking for from their work. What are 1, 2 and 3? 1. Exciting work and challenge (people love to grow). 2. Career growth, learning and development– (Again, people love to grow AND they know that if they are not able to then they are disabled in their ability to do more of what they enjoy and generate their own job security). 3. Working with great people and enjoying the relationships they have with their boss and colleagues. Check this data out with the Saratoga Institute, Gallup and many others. (At Career Systems International we have interviewed well over 20,000 people at every level, in a wide expanse of jobs and industries globally.) I have personally checked the validity of this research with hundreds of people. When asked, 100% of them agree that if at least one of these three elements is not present the money does not matter. If one of these three is not present, they are miserable. They hate getting up in the morning; they waste time complaining to their miserable colleagues. They spend company time looking for jobs on Monster.com. They don’t bring their best efforts to their jobs: less creativity, less interest, less caring. They count the hours until they go home instead of time flying and not caring if they do more with greater pride and passion. This is called “discretionary effort”. It is the choice to make the effort—or not. We each choose to bring our minds and spirits as we carry our bodies to work each day. And moment-to-moment we deal out this discretionary effort based on how we feel about what we are doing, who we are doing it for and what difference it makes for us and often times for others.

    If a manager knows what is important to me and cares enough to help me get what I want and need in my job, I will give more discretionary effort. In other words, if I want ownership of a project instead of just doing pieces and parts and my manager gives that responsibility to me, I (with great appreciation) take more pride in my work. If my boss is a jerk, who doesn’t care about me, who just thinks of me as a paid slave or a widget to get a job done, my resentment kicks in and my discretionary effort diminishes. Perhaps I need more flexibility in my hours. If I have a boss who finds a way for me to get my kid to school and work from home, making my family life work better, I am grateful and can (and want to) do a better job. If my boss never says thank you, or just says, “produce more, damn it!” without asking or caring about what I need to do a better job, then again, my resentment kicks in. Sorry, but that is the truth. The truth for me and the truth for the countless people I have worked with on this issue. Ok, for some sad and sorry people, it is only about the money. God bless them. And I do hope they can find a way to make all the money they want and need without selling their souls.

    I just think that you, William, are just looking at this issue of employee engagement with way too much cynicism and with a lens that is just too black and white to allow you to see the real value. When managers begin to see that the issue of “engagement” IS their job and know how to work with their people to understand and fulfill what is most important to them, then everyone wins. This is not theory… it is proven reality. I can point to thousands of employees, managers, and smart organizations that have proven that it is THE TRUTH!

    So, dear William, I suggest you take a look at what engages you in your work? Are you loving your work? If not what are you doing about it????

    Reply
  19. Travis Baker says:

    I’ll sum this up in simple terms:

    Life is a game we’re all forced to play. The rules change regularly. People in power will always use this power to influence, if not control, others. The only way out is to end your participation in the game.

    Then again, I’m still young, optimistic, and hopeful.

    Reply
  20. You had me at TPS reports.

    But, seriously, great post — and very true.

    Reply
  21. OK, here’s a thought:

    Be the employer whose actions lead — there’s that word again — its employees to *decide* to love their (possibly, but not necessarily, sucky) jobs.

    Reply
  22. The whole debate around “engagement” is – like other dysfunctional practices in HR – due to an absence of critical thinking – there is no structured approach using validated models of organisational and individual work performance and an almost total reliance on opinion instead of evidence. People believe what they hear repeatedly because it is familiar and therefore feels right. This is exactly the concept of “truthiness” coined by comedian Stephen Colbert in 2005.

    There is indeed a lot of research about engagement – most of it seriously flawed. Most measures of engagement are in fact measures of assumed prerequisites for engagement. The concept of engagement was first proposed by W.A. Kahn in 1990 who defined engagement as the use of the employee’s “full physical, cognitive and emotional energy in fulfilling their job role, the simultaneous use of head, heart and hands”. “Engagement” surveys don’t measure this.

    The purported relationship of engagement to performance is minimal – and in most cases the nature of the relationship is not established – it is just as, or perhaps even more likely, that engagement is higher because the organization is successful than that higher engagement leads to organizational success.

    Most measures of individual performance are of opinion not output – the supervisors opinion of the employees performance – which has been shown in study after study to be much more a measure of the supervisor/staff relationship than of real output. So now we have a circular relationship – because measures of supervisor relationships are often used as measures of engagement.

    However there is one recent study that does investigate a model linking the job satisfaction type concepts to both engagement and individual performance – and the results are interesting – you can see a summary on our website http://www.centranum.com/publications.

    Apart from the expected link to the work environment there is also a link to the psychological concept of self-efficacy – suggesting that training people to have better coping skills and flexibility to adjust to their environment, and to others, would be an effective strategy.

    Instead HR departments continue to pursue what they see as the holy grail – prescribing a set of desirable trait like “behaviors” to which the entire workforce should conform, a paternalistic approach, the antithesis of what HR supposedly stands for. This approach flies in the face of both common sense and the vast wealth of scientific evidence that clearly demonstrates the factors involved in human performance, and the processes that prompt and maintain individual action.

    Reply
  23. Sean Lapham says:

    Great post William – “engagement” is a con!

    I’m not with you on the happy vs unhappy, competent vs incompetent argument…. but couldn’t agree more with your main point.

    Engagement is just a part of management. Manage your people badly, they’ll lose interest in what you’re doing, you’ll see the quality of what they produce fall away, and the results you and your team come up with will deteriorate. Simple.

    The whole “outsourcing” of engagement to HR in the early 2000s was done, as far as I can see, to give them something to do. Apart from sorting out the hygiene factors (decent pay and benefits, good facilities etc) HR managers can only affect “engagement” as much as any other manager – by how they manage their own direct reports in HR.

    The growth of “engagement” into a holy grail of HR is smoke and mirrors, a trick pulled by people who will benefit from it:

    1. Software companies who will sell you computer programs to raise engagement (ridiculous)
    2. Consultants who will come in and do everything to raise engagement except help the managers manage better

    Any business is much better just focusing on what they are trying to do, and then doing it. Ambitious and high growth businesses don’t have time for anything else.

    Big corps with time to invest in ideas that don’t produce results are the natural homes of stuff like this.

    Keep on kicking the hornets’ nest. Like your Malcolm X quote.

    Sean

    Reply
  24. Don Critchley says:

    Engagement works when the employees feel it. Both stellar and average producing employees can feel engaged, warm and fussy about whet they do. Engagement, HR style, suggests that an employee should feel engaged when they sign the confidentiality agreement, sign the code of conduct, follow the job description without question, accept performance appraisals (with a smile and a thank you) that never let them out of the Bell Curve, have employee files kept on there every move just in case there is a law suit against the company, submit to video surveillance and other sorts of 1984 eaves dropping and employees are supposed to “make a difference” under the weight of all the rules and regulations.

    I believe that history will show that the evolution that has brought us to today’s HR practices will be sited as a cause for the West’s decline in productivity and innovation. There are just to many rules in the current regime that allow for an employee to be engaged. More so employees are expected to conform and not engage beyond said conformance.

    Reply
  25. Catherine Bruni says:

    You mean to tell me that engagement is all a lie?!! Oh wait, I knew that. Learned the hard way too. What a slap in my face after interning for you, haha. just….kidding ;)
    To reference Blink 182, “work sucks, I know.” Of course I would love to choose not to work and spend my time traveling the world. However, this can’t happen without money, without spending long hours at a job you don’t really love in order to do the things you do love. I truly believe that to make employees “happier” provide better benefits, pay, time off, etc. It will at least make working those 9-5 or putting in 60 hours a week worth it when you’ve got money to burn and the time to do so.

    Great post but I don’t expect anything less.

    Reply
  26. William, you are fast becoming my favourite recruitment blogger.

    Reply
  27. Pat Scherer says:

    Bad day William?
    If engagement was just a con or something that could only be bought, there would be few volunteers, professional organizations, or blogs. Engagement means caring. Caring is a natural quality most of us have unless too many people take advantage or quash it. Some of us are naturally opinionated and resilient enough to continue throwing our hearts over the bar by choice. Most people care inwardly but won’t waste effort in what they believe to be an uncaring organization. Engagement requires trust. Trust requires time and consistency. A few people cannot be engaged even under the best conditions. But for most of us, engagement is infectious, but so is apathy and cynicism – which do you choose?

    I’ve had the fortune to be a part of several great teams – to contribute, learn and observe firsthand the force-multiplier of synergy in action. Some of these teams just happened, but most were influenced by leaders and mentors we all respected and wanted to emulate. Observing how leadership sets the tone for engagement and teamwork, I challenge readers to make a choice. We need more great leaders. We need HR’s help in influencing better models for team-building and compensation Let’s be the people we want others to be.

    Reply

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