Can I Drive? The Problem with Employee Engagement Drivers

A Zinger Employee Engagement rant.

Don’t drive me and don’t put me on the bus!

Employee Engagement Authenticity Symbol

It has become commonplace to talk about drivers of employee engagement. Abhishek on Mumbler wrote a nice summary on What Drives Employee Engagement.

Here is  the common  list from the Conference  Board’s work:

  1. Trust and integrity – how well managers communicate and ‘walk the talk’.
  2. Nature of the job –Is it mentally stimulating day-to-day?
  3. Line of sight between employee performance and company performance – Does the employee understand how their work contributes to the company’s performance?
  4. Career Growth opportunities –Are there future opportunities for growth?
  5. Pride about the company – How much self-esteem does the employee feel by being associated with their company?
  6. Coworkers/team members – significantly influence one’s level of engagement
  7. Employee development – Is the company making an effort to develop the employee’s skills?
  8. Relationship with one’s manager – Does the employee value his or her relationship with his or her manager?

I think it is helpful to have a number of factors to examine to determine how organizations can foster and enhance employee engagement.

Here is my mini rant: Don’t call them drivers!

The meaning of a driver is:

  • the operator of a motor vehicle
  • someone who drives animals that pull a vehicle
  • a golfer who hits the golf ball with a driver
  • a golf club (a wood) with a near vertical face that is used for hitting long shots from the tee
  • one who drives something, in any sense of the verb to drive;
  • driving – having the power of driving or impelling; “a driving personal ambition”; “the driving force was his innate enthusiasm”; “an impulsive force”
  • driving – the act of controlling and steering the movement of a vehicle or animal
  • driving – acting with vigor; “responsibility turned the spoiled playboy into a driving young executive”

I don’t want to jump on the employee engagement bus.

I don’t want to be driven around my organization and my work.

I want to get behind the wheel and drive my own work.

Drivers make me think we are putting too much in the hands of the organization.

Perhaps we fuel the vehicle, help to navigate, etc. — but let the employee drive their own engagement.

Could it be that the very use of this term actually lower levels of engagement?

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