Summary of “The 5 New Rules of Employee Engagement”

Maybe the question is, what should you not do about it? Employee engagement has become such a hot topic that great swarms of consultants and authors are undoubtedly banging on your door as we speak, armed with enough action plans and PowerPoint presentations to make your head swim.
“The problem with employee engagement experts is they take well-meaning concepts and overengineer them to the point that they don’t bear any resemblance to what normal people understand,” says Neil Morrison, group human resources director for Penguin Random House U.K. “Then we wonder why we have a disengaged work force.”
An important turning point for employee engagement experts came with Daniel H. Pink’s Drive.
The new mantra and related team-building exercises, like group-assembling a bicycle, yielded striking results: Turnover dropped, productivity increased, and employee surveys showed engagement levels rose.
Leading the naysayers was the late Robert Gerst, a Canadian statistician who kicked up a storm in 2013 with an article in the Journal for Quality and Participation that concluded, “The dirty little secret of employee engagement surveys is that they’re largely junk science.” Gerst, who died earlier this year, argued that most consultants conducting such surveys have a built-in conflict of interest: First they reveal that large swaths of your work force are out to lunch, and then they sell you services to improve that dismal situation.
One reason measuring employee engagement is so difficult is there is no consensus on what the term means, exactly.
As employee morale started slipping, Farid tried immersing himself in the literature of engagement and spending more time with his HR people, looking for ways to celebrate achievements and keep people excited.
Rule 5: Actually, Don’t Worry About Engagement After decades of rapid growth, the field of employee engagement is now suffering a well-deserved backlash.

The orginal article.