Editor’s Note: Dr. John Sullivan has been a provocateur and strategist in the field of human resources and talent management for over 30 years. His specialty is HR strategy and designing world class HR systems and tools for Fortune 200 firms, and he’s never been shy about telling it like it is.
That’s why TLNT asked him to share his thinking in a video series titled “$#*!@ Dr. John Sullivan Says!” Look for these videos twice a week here at TLNT.
Today’s topic: What about engagement?
Employee engagement is a hot workplace topic these days, Dr. John Sullivan says, particularly in the U.S. and it’s even hotter around the world. But, he asks, “is that a great metric? Is that something you should be measuring?”
His first issue with the issue of engagement is that it is a term that’s not used by CEOs. Given that their focus is on things like productivity or ROI, it is probably best to not use engagement because the CEO simply doesn’t understand it as a measureable business metric.
Dr. John also questions the premise of employee engagement: that it is a deeper attachment or commitment by the employee to their job. “Could you have an emotional attachment to the firm … love your job, love you boss, be committed, but not be productive? Unfortunately, the answer is ‘yes.’ … Having engaged employees is a nice thing to have, but it’s not productivity.”
Rather than focusing on engagement, organizations should look to how to increase productivity and innovation. He points to Apple as a good example for how to do that.
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“The new world of HR needs to say,” he says, ‘Not only are our employees engaged, but they’re innovative and productive.” THAT is the true measure of success.
Did you miss the last segment of “$#*!@ Dr. John Sullivan Says!” on “What Roles and Activities Should be Added to HR?’ ” You can see it here.