Why the Level of Employee Engagement is Not Improving

Recent studies by major HR consulting firms have shown that the level of employee engagement is somewhere around 30 percent and it hasn’t improved in recent years. The reason that is hasn’t improved is that the overwhelming majority of businesses insist on using a management model that actually prevents employees from becoming engaged with their work. It’s often referred to a Management by the Numbers or Management by Command and Control. As Douglas McGregor, author of The Human Side of Enterprise, put it more than a half-century ago, the implicit logic to this method is “…that in order to get people to direct their efforts toward organizational objectives, management must tell them what to do, judge how well they have done, and reward or punish them accordingly.” The problem with this method is that it turns employees off–they strongly resent being told what to do, how to do it and then being judged by how well they did it by a boss or manager. When employees are turned off, they cannot become engaged with their work. This is why Management by the Numbers prevents people from becoming engaged.

As Einstein once said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Continuing to use a management model that turns employees off is not going to improve the level of employee engagement. As McGregor put it, “The real need is for new theory, changed assumptions, (and) more understanding of the nature of human behavior in organizational settings.”

My new book, The Engagement Formula, presents a leadership model that incorporates new theory, changed assumptions and more understanding of the nature of human behavior in organizational settings. The model consists of three simple steps that guarantee full (100 percent) employee engagement. http://rossreck.com/

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About Ross Reck

Who am I? I am the author of The Engagement Formula, Turning Your Customers into Your Sales Force, The X-Factor and my popular weekly newsletter: Ross Reck’s Weekly Reminder. I'm also the coauthor of Instant Turnaround!, REVVED! and the best selling The Win-Win Negotiator. I've also spoken at hundreds of meetings, conferences and conventions throughout the United States, Canada, Latin America, Europe and Asia. My consulting clients include Hewlett-Packard, John Deere, American Express, Janssen-Ortho, Inc., Shire Pharmaceuticals, Philip Morris International, the Chicago Cubs, Rolls-Royce and Xerox. I received my Ph.D. from Michigan State University in 1977. From 1975 to 1985 I served a Professor of Management at Arizona State University. During my career at ASU I was the only two-time recipient of the prestigious “Teaching Excellence in Continuing Education” award and was identified by the university as an “Outstanding Teacher.” In 1985 I left my position at ASU to search full-time for a new "Management Model" to replace the current model with it's emphasis on authority, control and formal communication channels. Last February, I found it (it's actually a leadership model) and it's featured in my new book, The Engagement Formula: Three Simple Steps that Guarantee Full Employee Engagement.

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