The Employee Engagement Network

Below, a couple of excerpts from an e-news article by Mary Ann Masarech, Employee Engagement Practice Leader with one of my favorites, BlessingWhite: The Ball's in Your Court, Leader (full article).


Mary Ann nails several of the key issues we’ve discussed here on the EEN A good read.


"What can we do as a company to boost employee engagement?" Arguably, organizations can never make employees engaged. What they can do is create the environment, inject purpose and meaning into the work and provide the clarity required for employees to become more engaged. Engagement needs to be less about organizational action planning and more about the daily behaviors of executives, managers and individuals. Every member of the workforce has a specific role to play….


Sure, as a leader you need to build the right culture and coach individuals to reach higher levels of engagement. But you also have to take responsibility for your own engagement. We've said it before: One dead battery cannot jump-start another. “



The abridged moral of the unto yourself before you atttempt to do unto others.

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This is so true. I think that sadly senior managers are often so busy they get locked into task and forget the importance of the way they are with people. Organisations have become so process driven, even people practives that are designed as part of the process suffer often from beign a tick box exercise. It comes down to culture and the people at the top genuinely believing and acting upon the vision and values. However, indiv idual managers can buck the trend when this does not happen and choose to make a difference to thouse around them everyday so we must not shy away from individual responsibility and opportunity.

Caroline, your last sentence tells it all...while culture and the top are critical it is still an individual choice. "Responsibility and opportunity" go hand-in-hand.


Surely there is no organization with an environment so toxic that a manager who chooses to "buck the trend" would be ostracized or shunned by his peers?

Nice one. I attended the BlessingWhite webinar a few weeks back and a couple of things stuck in my mind - firstly that you have to 'own' your own engagement - whoever you are. As managers/leaders, we can remove barriers to engagement and foster an environment which encourages engagement, but individuals have to choose to engage.


The second was the quote 'engaged employees stay for what they give; disengaged employees stay for what they get' which summed it up quite nicely!


I also like their X engagement model, with the company's idea of success being maximum contribution, and the individual's idea of success being maximum satisfaction. In the corner where these two meet you have fully engaged people. the rest of that quarter square is the almost engaged. Highly satisfied but low contributing people are honeymooners and hamsters (ie new starters who are happy but not yet productive and those who, like hamsters, spend their time going round in circles or sleeping!). Those who have high contribution but low satisfaction are the crash and burners, a big risk in the current climate, and those who are neither performing not satisfied are of course the disengaged.

They suggest that the 'almost engaged' are the biggest poach risk to an organisation.


Of course engagement is not a static state, but I thought that the model was a good way to visualise the basics.

Lydia, I bet the webinar was good stuff!


I always took the “x” model as being very fluid, and my own career path has pretty much borne that out:

  1. New in a position I had desired for some time: highly satisfied but low contributor due to inexperience. I did NOT feel like a hamster, although “honeymoon” fits!
  2. Finally learned the ropes, still thrilled with where I was: max satisfied, max contributor;
  3. Change in leadership, satisfaction took a big hit but was still a max contributor (burnout on its way!)
  4. Change in position to a new, challenging role = back to #1.

It makes a lot of sense that the “almost engaged” (not quite fully satisfied, but higher performers) are the greatest risk for being stolen…. I’m good, and I can be persuaded.


Other thoughts on the “x” out there? If you’re not familiar with the model, check out the link in the original post for a short overview.

yes, it's 'honeymooners AND hamsters' - distinct groups but with the same outcome :)



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