It’s official. The employee engagement industry is at war with itself. Even the New York Times has taken notice. The conflict concerns the validity of employee engagement surveys. There isn’t any.
The skirmish began when The American Society for Quality, Journal for Quality and Participation published, “Understanding Employee Engagement and Trust; The New Math of Engagement Surveys” by Robert Gerst of Converge Consulting Group. It concluded:
“The dirty little secret of employee engagement surveys is that they’re largely junk science—placing the marketing objective of telling and selling a good story above the practical and ethical objective of telling the truth. Like the South Pacific cargo-cults that built airplane engines out of bamboo and radio headsets from coconuts, employee surveys are dressed to look like science but lack its substance.” Read More
Gallop Provides the Answer
One of our favorite conclusions from the land of stupid is provided by Aon/Hewett that, “20% of the organization’s employees create 80% of the value“. Really? Well then, why not fire the remaining 80%?
Ooops. We meant that as a joke. Gallop took it seriously.
The latest edition of the Gallop Business Journal recommends firing the lowest performing quartile (25%) of managers as measured by the Gallop employee engagement metric. True, it isn’t 80% of your employees, but when practiced every year, you’ll get there soon enough.
The article is entitled: “Five Steps to Firing a Manager With a Disengaged Workgroup“ . We recommend it highly for those curious on just how stupid the thinking on employee engagement can get. The Gallop program should do wonders for both engagement and staff turnover.
Here’s a better idea. Let’s fire those that think firing people on the basis of engagement scores will do anything to increase engagement.
May we suggest that if you want to raise your game and get your employee engagement program out of the stupid zone you give Converge Voice of the Employee a try. It opens up a whole new world for HR.
PS: Statistics students will also find the article instructional. Key learning points; How to Lie with Statistics through ranking, why half of everything is below average, the difference between causation and correlation, and the fallacy of the transposed conditional.
Each New Year brings with it renewed optimism. It’s a time of the fresh start, sweeping aside the old and bringing in the new in the hopes of making things a little bit better.
What better way to do this than sweeping aside the old productivity killing and demoralizing employee engagement survey? Few things a more destructive to building better, more productive workplaces. The first edition of the American Society for Quality’s Journal for Quality and Participation for 2013 explains why and what to do about it.
Understanding Employee Engagement and Trust; The New Math of Engagement Surveys by Converge’s Robert Gerst reviews the way in which employee engagement surveys are conducted and concludes: “The dirty little secret of employee engagement surveys is that they’re largely junk science—placing the marketing objective of telling and selling a good story, above the practical and ethical objective of telling the truth.” Statistical methods are misused, corrupting survey results, even as they provide an air of scientific legitimacy. Most employee engagement survey results are elaborate statistical fairy tales.
Just how bad is it? The statistical methods used to identify important findings in engagement surveys, such as statistical significance tests and regression analysis, are the same methods used in the 1994 best seller ‘The Bell Curve‘ to ‘prove’ that blacks are intellectually inferior to whites. That’s more than bad–it’s offensive. Read More
Converge Consulting Group Inc announces that Canadian trade mark protection has just been awarded to Voice of the Employee. This will help give HR professionals in industry and government a clear alternative to the use of statistical significance junk science in employee engagement surveys. <Full News Release>
Voice of the Employee is now recognized by the Quality Council of Alberta as meeting their Gold Standard in Employee Research. These are the toughest, most rigorous standards in the industry.
Check their standards out for yourself and so if you don’t agree.
Meanwhile, companies using VoE are eligible to display the QCA Gold Standard for Employee Research on the corporate websites and related communications media.
Economisting: (e kon’ o mist’ ing) 1. The act or process of converting limited evidence into grand claims by means of rhetorical ploys, especially punning. 2. The belief or practice that empirical evidence can only confirm and never disconfirm a favored theory. 3. Conclusions that are theory-driven, not evidence based. See also confirmation bias, painting with a broad brush, Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, post-modern critical theory, marketing. Read More
“For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,” Richard Feynman, Nobel Laureate, Physics
Engagement surveys are economisting exercises in public relations, spinning employee feedback and corrupting the evidence used in making HR and organization development decisions. Your business is suffering as a result. Here’s how . . . Read More
The Net Engaged-Employee Promoter (NEP) metric is based on the Net Promoter Score (NPS) described by Fred Reichheld in his 2003 Harvard Business Review article “One Number You Need to Grow”.
NEP is one of the most powerful metrics in measuring employee engagement and loyalty and one VoE delivers with unparalleled analytic support and insight. Read More
Being labelled one of the Best Companies to Work For is great public and employee relations. It is also bad management.
It’s a sign the company is more concerned with image than with reality. That’s not a good thing for employees or the company because it means the company will sacrifice real and meaningful improvements to the working environment, in favor of a positive press release.
Most of your employees see through the public relations spin. The disconnect between what employees experience and the stellar performance implied by being one of the Best Companies to Work For, does not cause employees to suddenly change their experience or opinion. It does, however, cause them to question the credibility of the executive team and of HR.
Why does the disconnect occur? Here are three big reasons. Read More
Almost all employee survey research, probably the research you are using now, assumes that what is important to people can be determined by the formula for standard error – statistical significance testing. Believe that and there is a bridge in Brooklyn I would like to sell you.