Employee Engagement : Criticism

Top : Employee Engagement : Criticism - As with any fad or buzz(word) there's a huge bandwagon effect at first, followed after by more sober thinking and critical thinking. Are there criticisms of the "employee engagement" ideas? Yes.

Performance Management Articles, Guides and Help:


By Beverly and Philip Little - The authors of this article explore the construct of employee engagement, which has received considerable press recently in management literature and practice. Our research explores questions concerning how the construct employee engagement is defined and how it compares and contrasts with other existing, well-validated constructs. We discuss positives and negatives of employee engagement research and the application of the construct to organizational outcomes. Many organizations now measure their employees level of engagement and to attempt to increase those levels of engagement because they believe that doing so will improve productivity, profitability, turnover and safety. We encourage users of the construct to continue research on employee engagement in order for both academics and practitioners to better understand what they are measuring and predicting. Viewed 1154 Times )

Employee Engagement: Bad for Your Health? - BusinessWeek

By Matthew Boyle - Not really a criticism here, but a sense that we need to look at healthy engagement: Gebauer said her firm is starting to explore the concept of healthy engagement, where employees give their all while employers focus on their overall well-being, as opposed to unhealthy engagement, where employees risk burnout. The consultancy is even developing an index to measure this phenomenon across its client base, which I've dubbed the Misery Meter, although I'm sure Towers Perrin will come up with a more marketable moniker. Viewed 1296 Times )

Engagement Surveys: Gallup and Best Companies face criticism

By Peter Crush - Two of the most prestigious models for measuring engagement have been singled out for harsh criticism. Is it justified and what are the alternatives? Peter Crush talks to the main players Viewed 1179 Times )

The Employee Engagement Racket

By Liz Ryan - Brief but telling critique of employee engagement as a concept. Excerpt: What is Employee Engagement? It’s a made-up construct that seeks to measure how well our employees like us. We used to talk about employee morale; now the preferred term is “Engagement with the Mission.” To me, employee engagement surveys and the notion of employee engagement itself are unfortunate vestiges of the Mad Men era when overzealous social scientists set out to measure every human process in organizational life. Viewed 334 Times )

Why Leaders Should Focus on Employee Investment, not Engagement

By Rob Bellenfant - Provides an alternate way to boost performance, not by focusing on employee engagement and "getting employees to do what we want", but on investing to create an environment - such that the quality of work life in the company is better. Viewed 278 Times )

Employee Engagement: An Epic Failure?

By Pat Galagan - Finally. Sadly, the voices in the wilderness saying EE doesn't work are still in the minority. Read this. Viewed 297 Times )

Employee Engagement A review of current thinking (PDF)

By Gemma Robertson-Smith and Carl Markwick - I've included this study in the criticism section because of the final section, but it's a great read on employee engagement without most of the hype and BS Viewed 1228 Times )

Employee Engagement Myth or Madness?Still Misconceptions about Lean and Toyota by Matt Wrye,

By na - BusinessWeek published a piece titled: Employee Engagement: Enough! The recession is no time to worry about employee engagement. Pro or Con? Company engagement programs treat the symptom not the disease.The real disease is poor management and that's you, Bucky.Employees don't need programs and engagement strategies. They need managers with vision, an understanding that employees want and need to work to the best of their abilities. Employees need managers working together toward a shared strategy for the company, not managers that worry about building individual silos. Employees don't need to be engaged managers need to be improved. Employee engagement is about having a well-run enterprise based on consistently applied values. Do that, and engagement follows. Viewed 989 Times )

Engage: The (Statistical) Confidence Game of Employee Engagement Surveys

By Converge - Startling and stunning analysis of the problems associated with employee engagement surveys, research results, and gross misinterpretation of "research results" in the field. Viewed 265 Times )

Employee Engagement Programs Need to Be Long on Action, Short on Rhetoric

By Tracey E. Schelmetic, - Not a critique of the concept of employee engagement, but points out that companies are talking way too much about EE, and doing far too little to revamp their systems. And employees are cynical. Viewed 273 Times )

Engagement Surveys: Gallup and Best Companies face criticism

By Peter Crush - wo of the most prestigious models for measuring engagement have been singled out for harsh criticism. Is it justified and what are the alternatives? Peter Crush talks to the main players. Viewed 888 Times )

Is There Something Wrong With Employee Engagement?

By Roy Saunderson - If you can't increase it despite a billion dollars a year, one must wonder if there is something wrong with employee engagement efforts. Author suggests "making work revolve around engagement rather than engagement revolving around work". Whatever that means. Viewed 257 Times )

Why increasing employee engagement is a waste of time - The Globe and Mail

By LUCY KELLAWAY - Globe and Mail piece on the pointlessness of pursuing employee engagement, but here's the startling part: "Recently, I was sent a new piece of research showing that the worst-performing employees are often the most engaged ones. This is a radical departure from the standard view that performance and engagement go hand in hand: High performers are meant to be the motivated ones and the all-round cheerleaders, while low performers are supposed to belong to the awkward squad and be disaffected and grumpy. Instead, according to the consultancy Leadership IQ, the feeblest workers in almost half the companies surveyed fared much better than the high-fliers on three measures of engagement. They were more likely "to give 100 per cent," they were more likely to recommend their company to others, and they were more inclined to think that their bosses treated people fairly." Viewed 537 Times )

Must Read: $720 Million Spent on Engagement and This Is All We Get?

By na - Nicely crafted argument regarding the wasted investment companies are making in employee engagement. Estimates from Bersin are that companies spend close to a billion dollars a year on it, with next to no return. Viewed 461 Times )

Employee engagement surveys: useless or very useless?

By Robert Gerst - WOW. A piece on the pointlessness of employee engagement surveys. A must read. Viewed 480 Times )

Are Surveys Measuring Employee Engagement Actually Effective?

By na - Short discussion, not that extensive about the faultiness of surveys that measure employee engagement. What is missing is the central idea that THE operational way to define employee engagement is "responses on surveys". Excerpt: The Melcrum report (2005) found that there has been a rise in organisations purchasing engagement surveys since the start of the 21st Century. The report also found that most organisations saw the engagement survey as the engagement process, rather than a means to measure engagement and then create action plans to improve engagement within the workforce. Typically, the employee surveys, which the Melcrum report refers to, tended to be annual surveys to the entire workforce... Welbourne (2003) agreed and argued that mangers measured rather than engaged with their workforce. When you do this employee engagement is an event...It's much more difficult to make engagement a way of life in your organisation.' Smythe (2007) is ambivalent about measuring engagement, especially with large scale surveys, which he believes are little more than re-branded employee satisfaction surveys. Viewed 450 Times )

| Library Home Page |
Pages Updated On: 27-Nov-2015 - 13:23:56

About Company

Bacal & Associates was founded in 1992 by consultant and book author, Robert Bacal. Robert's books on performance management and reviews have been published by McGraw-Hill. He is available for consultation, training and keynote speaking on performance and management at work.


Robert Bacal

Bacal's Books
About The Company
About Our Performance Management Philosophy
Privacy Policy

Our Related Websites

Leadership Resource Center
Upgrade your understanding of modern leadership in a complex world. Stay current.

The Planning Resource Center

From strategic planning for businesses, small and large, right through to financial planning for millennials, stay current with the latest thoughts and actions on planning.

Bacal & Associates Store
Free and paid guides, books, and documents on business, management and more.

We Believe

  • Performance management and appraisal MUST be a partnership between manager and employee where BOTH benefit.
  • Performance management can be the lever for improved employee engagement.
  • The review process is the LEAST important part of performance management
  • If managers aren't managing employee performance, why are they there?