Five Reasons Why Employee Engagement Is Making Me Feel Disengaged

Sharon Teitlbaum
November 15, 2011 — 2,290 views  
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1- Employee engagement has become a buzzword with no meaning in some workplace. What some managers really mean, is that they are engaged in theoretical discussions employees. They seem to think that if they loudly declare that their whole workforce is engaged, even if few people are, they will be considered a great place to work.
Research has proven, what many of us have known for years; engaged employees are more productive, but it is still all too common for an organizations to have no idea what that means in terms of organizational and employee behavior.
2- Too many consultants promise to create employee engagement, when they mean they’ll conduct management training in active listening, and changing lexicon. Ask an employee if they’ve increased their participation, or feel more appreciated, or what they think about the “new” efforts to “engage” them, and they’ll look at you as if you are speaking Martian.
3- Organizations measure employee engagement through an in-house survey, asking employees if they’re happy. If I worked in one of those organizations, no matter how much confidentiality management, or HR promised me, there is no way that I would be comfortable being completely honest.
4- The term “employee engagement” has become like the term “diversity” in many organizations, someone gets hired as manager of diversity, or employee engagement, but they’re not given any authority, or a budget to do anything, except attend a conference and hear speakers.
5- Organizations still resist developing a new kind of culture where employees are given opportunities to use talents, and genius that no one knew they had. You can’t “engage” employees unless you ask employees for their ideas. What a concept!
Instead of talking about employee engagement, let’s talk about discovering, utilizing, and leveraging employee genius at every level. Let’s talk about creating a sense of community in organizations, where every day employees, can be integral members of that community, and develop their own passion to help the “workplace community,” be successful.
Instead of employee engagement, let’s use the term ETO, Employee Talent Optimization.
Copyright (Reprint Terms)

Copyright© 2011, Simma Lieberman. All right reserved. For information contact FrogPond at email [email protected].

Sharon Teitlbaum

I’ve been a personal coach since 1995, and became International Coach Federation-certified as one of the first Professional Certified Coaches in 1999, during the initial rollout of coach certifications. I am now credentialled as a Master Certified Coach (MCC). I am a graduate of Coach University, the premier coach training program in the world. My prior business and education experience include training, facilitation, project management, and computer systems work. I worked as a training and education specialist at Polaroid and as a systems analyst at a mid-sized, top notch consulting firm, Abt Associates. I have also run successful freelance businesses: as a database application developer, and now as a personal coach. The mother of two young women and married for 30 years, I understand first hand the challenges of creating balance and integration within a full life. In addition to work-life balance issues, I also have direct, personal experience with career change and midlife transition. Read my personal history of work life balance at