Toppled: 21 Signs Employee Engagement is Broken

Questioning Engagement. A participant at a mining conference I presented at in South Africa asked what happens when the Pyramid of Engagement is broken. It was an excellent question that created a small epiphany for me about an inverted pyramid. Here is an upside down picture of the pyramid of engagement. It represents employee engagement falling away or draining out of an organization.  Following the inverted pyramid image is a list of 21 signs that employee engagement is broken for an organization or an invididual.

21 Signs. Here is a list of 21 signs that work is broken and disengagement rules the day:

  • There is a  lack of clarity of results or even a lack of results
  • Too many results are attempted without enough capacity
  • Results are clear but lack any meaning or significance for employees
  • Performance is reduced to a management system rather than the daily lifeblood of work
  • There is a failure to hold engaging conversations when performance fails to meet expectations
  • The connections between performance and results are weak or nonexistent
  • There are too many people and structural barriers to progress
  • Setbacks trump progress by a factor greater than 2 to 1
  • Collaboration tends to result in many setbacks and disengaging interactions
  • Relationships are sacrificed in the name of achieving results
  • Relationships are viewed as mushy unimportant stuff or depersonalized as human capital
  • Individuals and organizations suffer people-myopia, barely noticing each other, and failing to voice recognition for each other
  • Moments for engagement are frittered away as small and insignificant rather than small and significant opportunities for engagement
  • The state of flow is squeezed out by anxiety and boredom
  • Employees are unaware or fail to leverage the power of small, smart, and significant steps
  • Strengths are dismissed as a short assessment tool completed at a half day workshop that gives you your top 5 strengths
  • 80% of attention is focused on weakness, problems, gaps, failures, and inadequacies
  • There is no compelling why to work
  • The return to individuals for work contribution is reduced to an hourly rate or salary
  • The organization and individuals fail to create and find well being within work
  • Mental, emotional, and organizational energy is frittered away and work is experienced as an energy drain not an energy gain.

Flip. Let’s turn the pyramid of employee engagement around to it original position so that we can: achieve results, maximize performance, path progress, build relationships, foster recognition, master moments, leverage strengths, make meaning, enhance well being, and enliven energy.

David Zinger is devoted to helping organizations and individuals fully engage in work to build and sustain successful and meaningful results and relationships. Request his speeches, workshop, or consulting today on the pyramid of employee engagement to engage all of your employees. Mr. Zinger founded and hosts the 4700+ member Employee Engagement Network. Contact David today at [email protected]


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