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What is your Engagement Model?


Jim Harter states in his article from Gallup:
According to our recent State of the Global Workplace report, 85% of employees are not engaged or actively disengaged at work. The economic consequences of this global "norm" are approximately $7 trillion in lost productivity. Eighteen percent are actively disengaged in their work and workplace, while 67% are "not engaged." This latter group makes up the majority of the workforce -- they are not your worst performers, but they are indifferent to your organization. They give you their time, but not their best effort nor their best ideas. They likely come to work wanting to make a difference --- but nobody has ever asked them to use their strengths to make the organization better.

Is this analysis a cart and horse locating problem?  Do we need better diagrams of which comes first?
When we get performance management right, engagement will naturally rise. 
Performance management is a trailing tool (not a leading indicator or lever).  Engagement comes well before performance management takes place.

How far back do we need to search to find that we already know the reasons for this misrepresentation of work motivation?  I'll refer you to the 1960s and Hertzberg's Two-Factor Theory of workplace motivations and "hygiene" - a term that captures all that performance management techniques are designed to measure and influence.

I noticed at the recent Consciousness Capitalism  conference 2018 in Dallas, TX; this model of organizational development toward a higher purpose; note where Transformation is in the model.  Does an organization need a minimal set of capabilities to successfully attempt an Agile Transformation?  I ponder this a lot...


Are you in the beginning (or the nth reboot) of an Agile Transformation?

Not long ago, I started a gig with a mega corporation, well know in the Agile/Lean lore and history.  It was about a year after their change (the announcement of an attempt to adopt "Agile" ways).  The transformation was challenged.  A well respected colleague asked me what the engagement model was.  Reflecting... I had nothing, there was no talk, plan, model of how to engage the typical worker in the change that Executives had envisioned and hired SInc to perform.  I responded we don't have one.  He replied that we do... we just haven't payed any attention to it... most organizational change initiatives skip over this step... in a hurry to show action.  And in that hast, set the foundations for a poor first impression for those workers that are not very sure if they want to get on board, or hunker down.  The term for this ad-hoc - unaware method of engagement is imposition.  It is the typical, default, engagement model for any command and control organization.  Commonly used (exploited) by the Agile Industrial Complex to achieve their goals.

To validate this hypothesis - I reflected.  The division I was working with had been "invited" to a week long training, on the schedule for a month, and a few days before the training, said NO WAY.  We cannot take a week of all of our peoples time to do training.  The training was imposed - but the division leaders refused to allow anyone to participate.  This resulted in ZERO engagement.

So if you recognize this example - case study - as similar to your own situation... what might you do, next?
Could it be too late to create an engagement model?  Well, before you mutate the Performance Review Process so that engagement naturally rises find out.  Yes, it could be too late... how would we know?  Ask.  If the people that are most effected by the change are engaged and interested, it is NOT too late.  If they are disengaged (determine this) - it's too late.

If it is not too late... then work on that aspect of organizational change urgently.

Here are a few ideas:

OpenSpace Agility's Engagement model - steal this idea.
Success with Agile - What they don't tell you.
Invitation Based Changed

Or you could go study Organizational Leadership and Change models in the halls of academia.  They have know of this issues we are facing within our Agile community for decades, academics have studied and written about it for years.  It is captured well in the 30 or so books of John Kotter's Leading Change books.

See Also:
Gallup:  Dismal Employee Engagement is a Sign of Global Mismanagement by Jim Harter
Motivation and the Hertzberg Two-Factor Theory
Interesting Motivation links

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