7 comments on “Employee Engagement Buzzword Bingo

  1. Loved this and especially this paragraph: “Don’t just hire people who fit your culture and share your organizational values. Hire people who can also shake up your sacred culture. Identify people whose skills sets and problem solving experiences can take your company to new places. It’s laughable when company’s spout off loudly about their disruptive technology yet won’t hire disruptive employees. Value alignment is not culture fit – it’s value alignment (like being customer focused, blah, blah, blah). Culture shouldn’t be a Wailing Wall but more like a containment boom that flexes.” This is the ideal situation but when the C-level doesn’t buy into this model, it’s a long hard road for everyone else. Been there and done that :)


  2. Thx Suzi…hey, some places it works, others it doesn’t. People have a choice to make – stay or leave. Overall, I believe the “industry” talks a great game about engagement but falls short in execution.

    Later in ife adults blame their parents for their emotional issues and their bosses and CEOs (and HR too) for the lack in career progression. Oy…


  3. Agree with all of this Steve.

    The definition of Pontificate: To speak or express opinions in a pompous or dogmatic way.

    Buzzwords, catch-phrases, etc. allow us to sound important without saying or achieving squat. And these Hail Mary verbal punts are the worst when dealing with HR, Leadership and other communications based topics.

    Like your take on breaking down problems to the Lowest Common Denominator then re-building. I live, lead and recruit by finding LCD’s in everything I do. Even attempting to find the LCD brings with it the positive side effect of removing the BS.

    Thanks for, yet again, whipping out your handy dandy Pooper Scooper.

    All the best. ~Keith


  4. I agree. Employee engagement is about getting the stories-in-context from employees; the stories that demonstrate what is/isn’t working – then doing something about it. Did you see Liz Ryan’s post in BloombergBusinessweek from a couple of weeks ago where she states employee engagement is a racket? I don’t agree with her arguments for this but I do agree with what she says about the need to talk to employees on a regular basis to get those stories-in-context, and not wait for a once-a-year employee engagement survey to tell you what is/isn’t working.


  5. @Keith…listen to Cheech and Chong do their “Chebornik” skit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eY7ZX6ngOSs

    @Melany…I’ll read it and report back to you; engagement checks are like regular mini-performance appraisals. They’re also very much like sitting around the family table where Mom and Dad ask the kids, “So how was your day?”

    Thanks to both of you for your comments; Melany – you don’t look anything like your avatar…


  6. The problem with following a “latest trend” is that it becomes a race to see who can come up with the cleverest buzz words to appear intelligent. Of course, the ones I invent are never just to ride the bandwagon :-)

    Engagement happens. It is one of those things that should be a sixth sense for leaders because if nobody is engaged then nothing is happening. The magic of the automatic transmission in my car is that gears engage and I move forward without over-thinking the problem of applying the correct mechanical forces to overcome inertia. In the world of work, the opposite is also true… just because the engine is running doesn’t mean you are going anywhere. The example of multiple groups being fully “engaged” doing the same thing is classic.

    Don’t ever lose the snarkiness that keeps us all honest. refreshing!


  7. Woo-Hoo! Great post Steve and bingo on all counts (sans the cow excrement.) Sometimes people like to turn the basics into quantum physics. To that I say, we need to put the KISS Principle into place more so than not. Speak simply and understandably and keep the jargon to a minimum.


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