Stating the Obvious

The subject of engagement has been on my mind a lot of late, hence the plethora of blog posts I’ve written on the subject. It was certainly a hot topic at the HR Director’s Summit I recently attended. I’m going to say just one more thing, and then shut up about it for a while.

And it is this. Employee engagement is stating the bloody obvious.

Treating your people well so they want to come to work and form good connections with your company? Offering them good leadership? Listening to what they have to say? Recognising them, developing them, communicating with them? No shit Sherlock.

Haven’t we always known this?

HR professionals have. This is what we talk about, every day. Engagement might not be the word we have always used for it, but we are talking about it, have talked about it, all the same.

Because what is engagement, after all? As I have said, many times before, it is what you get as a result of doing good people stuff. From recruitment to communication, leadership to the reward strategy, the working environment to the exit interview, and every other single thing in between. HR, leaders and managers alike, joined up.

Because people are everything. Get that bit right and your customers know about it. Get that bit right and your bottom line knows about it.

Those early companies that had the first welfare officers knew it. The Donovan Commission knew it. The People at Cadbury’s knew it. And HR people everywhere know it.

Employee engagement is what we have always done, cared about, worked towards. Rebadged, repackaged, rebandwagoned. Made into a ‘thing’. Made into something to strive for, by itself. It has become a destination when it should be about the journey.

If we need a label, a language, a common word, a definition for others with which to explain it, then okay. There is nothing wrong with this word. But let us not pretend this is something new. Let us not pretend that this is something complicated. Because I keep reading articles, hearing speakers, and we are all saying the same things in slightly different ways. We have made a complexity of it all. Made a structure of it all. A project and a process of it all. I can’t help but think our desire to make engagement sound more than it is, is somehow linked to the HR seat at the table, take me seriously obsession.

Happy, motivated, satisfied, interested, inspired, contented, fulfilled employees is something worth striving for. Something that will help your business, your performance, your financials. Something in HR that we should be leading for.

Haven’t we always known this?

And that, is my final word on the matter. Probably.

3 thoughts on “Stating the Obvious

  1. Pingback: My practice, your practice, the practice | Thinking About Learning

  2. Pingback: Even more thoughts on employee engagement | hrgem

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