People Management - Debunking engagement myths in the midst of Covid-19
Employee engagement remains one of the most misunderstood areas of business, but it’s possible for employers to be clear on how to improve it, says Matthew Emerson
Employee engagement has become high-frequency vocabulary in business circles, but continues to be an enigma, with engagement levels nationally being relatively low and business leaders still not clear on what the problem is, let alone how to solve it. This is irrespective of Covid-19, but any research conducted on this subject during this period will only uncover more complexity rather than clearer solutions.
Employee engagement is often over-simplified and over-generalised, tackled through discrete activities intended to target common triggers of energy and motivation – for the many, rather than being tailored to our individual differences. Like what we know about learning styles, motivation and other human behaviour at work, trying to manage and improve engagement has minimal impact if tackled at a generalised level.
I think it’s important to clarify that I work with the model of employee engagement developed by Dr Mark Slaski based on the definition that engagement is a “positive experience resulting from the relationships you have, the role you do and the rewards you get in the workplace”. This model has both the academic underpinning and practical application that make it credible for commercial organisations to use.