Employee engagement, as it has commonly been measured, has failed to improve work. Even Gallup, the leading advocate admits that “employee engagement has barely budged in years.”
Employee engagement is a measure of discretionary effort – the amount of effort someone gives beyond the minimum required. In other words, it is a measure of the amount of free labor and effort you get beyond what you pay for as an employer. Today, it is the dominant measure of workplace health.
This post is part of a three-part series on how we need to radically change the way we measure work. The second piece will explore the origins of workplace measurement and how that set employee engagement up to fail. The final piece will explore how agile software development and the science of purpose could provide the insights needed to change how we measure work.
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