Chapter 4 Reading – Rules of Engagement

September 16, 2009

When I read articles like this one, it always amazes me that it took employers so long to come to the realization that happier employees result in more productive employees, which results in increased profits. It seems like it would be common sense.  If employees are miserable or distracted they are not going to produce and will not add value to your organization.

While the transition to an employee engagement approach has been going on, what I have found interesting is how resistant many businesses are to changing over to a more employee friendly approach. Even when faced with the growing mountain of data detailing the successful results produced by engaging employees,  many employers are resistant to this approach. I think a lot of it simply comes down to employers taking a “this is how we have always done it and it has always worked” approach. Fortunately for those who work at employers not swayed by the statistics, it seems like additional forces have been pushing employers in that direction. For example, there is a level of prestige that comes with appearing on a “best place to work” list and I think, for those not swayed by the statistical evidence, the desire for recognition, or at least to not fall behind the competition, may push these stragglers to adopt a more engagement oriented approach.

I do wonder however, if, in light of the recent economic downturn, employers will start to revert back to the old way of doing things. While the employee engagement approach is hot right now, will employers continue to invest the time and effort required to develop new ways to engage their employees and implement these programs? Or will this approach fall victim to the cost cutting currently underway at many employers, who may believe in this approach, but may not want to spend the time and effort necessary to implement or maintain it?

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