Systematically Poisoning Employee Engagement
By Michelle Malay Carter on November 19, 2007
Before we were aware of the existence of bacteria, viruses, and cancer cells, disease was thought to be a curse from God.? Sick people were told sickness was their fault and the resolution of the issue was up to them.? As such, the remedies of the day included repenting, praying, and making peace with the God through various sacrifices.
With our current understanding of the root cause of sickness, we now have macro-level systems in place for the prevention of disease and additional systems in place for the treatment of disease.
With 79% of employees disengaged at work, I offer that the catastrophic failure of today’s management and people systems are due to a complete lack of awareness?of?the?four root causes of most organizational pain which emanate from lack of understanding of work levels:
- People mismatched to their roles
- People mismatched to their managers
- Too many or too few roles within a reporting chain
- Misappropriated or lack of clear?accountability and authority.
What is going on today in the corporate world is akin to asking employees to be accountable for preventing disease when the organization refuses to install indoor plumbing or filter its contaminated well water.
Employees are working in polluted environments created by misinformed, piecemeal, dysfunctional people systems, and we keep blaming them for showing symptoms of illness.?
Empower yourself!? We tell them. ?Change your attitude!? Work smarter!? Go to training!? Be a team player!? Certainly, these strategies can’t hurt, but I daresay, they won’t help much either when an employee’s work?environment?ensures that each day will bring yet another dose of poison.
We Can Design Systems that Enable Productive Work and Effective?Leadership?
Designing organizational systems to exploit the benefits of work levels is a critical pathway to not only employee engagement but also strategy execution, embedding values, and driving accountability.? You get the total package because it’s a total system for organizational design, talent management, and managerial leadership.? It’s a macro level solution for a macro level issue.
I’m OK.? You’re OK.? Let’s fix the system.
Have you ever fallen victim to a polluted system?? Share your story.