(Editor’s Note: Looking for the #TChat Preview post? Read Stronger! #TChat Preview #SHRM13 Edition.)
Employment: An Emotional Experience
It’s the most overlooked aspect of employee engagement. And yet, it’s the aspect that matters most — especially if you’re in the graduating class of 2013, and stepping into a still uncertain, fragile global workforce economy.
I’m talking about the emotional element of the employee experience. And that’s not just a hunch. According to recent workforce engagement research, emotional commitment is 4x more powerful than rational commitment in driving employee effort. In other words, when employees are rationally committed to an organization, they’ll stay if they believe it is in their self-interest to do so. But when employees are emotionally committed — when they believe in the value of their job, their team, and their organization — they exert discretionary effort. And discretionary effort is where the engagement magic happens.
That news probably doesn’t surprise you any more than it surprises me. I’m a big believer that we’re loyal first to the work we do, then to the teams with whom we work, and last to the organization that hired us. A sense self worth and job worth is critical, if we want to feel valued on the job. But unfortunately, too often, organizations tend not to focus on these realities.
Time To Rearrange Priorities?
The chief workplace management and well-being scientist at Gallup suggests a fresh approach. In a recent FastCompany interview, Dr. Jim Harter explains that, because individuals have a core need to feel appreciated and valued, organizations should be extremely generous with praise and recognition. In fact, I’d argue that we thrive not only on praise and recognition — but also on continuous constructive feedback about where and how to improve. Both encouragement and guidance are keys to performance and growth.
But in truth — it’s a stretch to find either, in today’s environment. Harter’s research indicates that nearly 3 of every 4 U.S. workers are either disengaged or actively disengaged from their jobs. Over half are willing to show up for work, but generally do only the minimum required. And another 20% are intentionally counter-productive. I doubt there’s much positive feedback or encouragement happening in those scenarios.
How Do We Turn This Around?
We can’t change what we don’t acknowledge. So I propose that we not only acknowledge the issue — but actively talk about how the “world of work” can tackle disengagement head-on. And what better venue than the SHRM Conference & Exposition next week in Chicago?
Come talk with us and other HR executives and practitioners about this and related issues! My TalentCulture co-creator and #TChat forum co-host, Meghan M. Biro, will join me as we work the #SHRM13 aisles and report LIVE throughout the conference. And don’t forget to save the date for a #TChat double-header next week:
MONDAY JUNE 17 — 3:15-4:00pm Central Time (4:15pmET/1:15pmPT)
Margarita Meet-up at Achievers Booth #2455 — “CLASS of 2013” Panel
Join our LIVE discussion, focused on results from a recent survey of 10,000+ graduating students. (We’ll post more details in this weekend’s #TChat Preview.)
WEDNESDAY JUNE 19 — 6:00-7:00pm Central Time (7-8pmET/4-5pmPT)
#TChat Twitter — A Closer Look at the Graduating Class of 2013. For more details, look for our weekly Preview post this weekend, here at TalentCulture.
We’ll see you in Chicago — and on the stream!