We Are Purposely Making Employee Engagement Hard

Human Nature has a tendency to admire complexity, but reward simplicity.   -Ben HuhOkay this will be a short post today – informed by a post I was putting together for HRexaminer.com and a conversation that I’m having on Facebook right now about what else – employee engagement. It wouldn’t be 2015 if it weren’t about employee engagement. One of the interesting thoughts I had as I was commenting in the FB feed was we keep looking at the engagement situation as is as if it is a process problem. As if it is a procedure problem. As if it is something that can be structured, packaged and rolled out to the masses.

Engagement as an app?

I think we forget engagement is really a people problem. On the Facebook feed someone mentioned getting rid of the managers – that they were the problem.  I disagree. It’s not that the managers are the problem per se.  It’s that we have poor managers.

We promote people who demonstrate functional excellence into the role of management and expect them to have expertise in human behavior and human nuances. And they don’t. They are functionally competent and human incompetent. And therefore we have disengagement. We put in place all these processes to take the place of our managers’ lack of EQ.

All of the reports, studies, posts and articles focus on creating processes to document performance within an organization but the real problem isn’t the process.

The real problem is the human beings running the ship. Until we fix that issue – we will always have issues with engagement within the organization.

So, watch HRExaminer.com and my post should be up in maybe a few days… maybe a week.

Remember – engagement isn’t a process issue – it’s a people issue.

And, as the quote I put at the beginning of this post says… We value and love complexity. We fall in love with it, massage it, hug it and pet it. But at the end of the day simplicity is what actually has impact.

If you’ve ever designed a website or an app, or anything like that, you know complexity is the enemy. Complexity needs to be hidden.  Unfortunately when we try to manage people we seem to look at complexity as a feature instead of a roadblock.

Engagement will only happen when we remove the complexity and make connecting with employees more human and more simple.

Hey – how about some coffee and a conversation? That.just.might.work.

3 responses to “We Are Purposely Making Employee Engagement Hard”

  1. Engagement and “Disrupting” – buzzwords of the year 2015


  2. and 2014, and 2013, and 2012…. it gets so monotonous in the HR space sometimes no?


  3. We should never drive for the answers we want to hear but the answers we need to hear. Then we should do something about it. People don’t want to give input if it is not listened and responded to.


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