It is time to face the truth about employee engagement.

Employee engagement is an outdated idea that, by itself, does not significantly improve business performance.

The truth is, employee engagement can improve the relationship between managers and employees, but will take your organization only so far.

Companies are realizing that employee engagement alone is not providing actionable items and that the employee engagement survey is an aging idea.

Gallup’s State of Global Workforce reports show that overall employee engagement as measured by its survey has not improved much since Gallup’s first report in 2001. From then until Gallup’s most recent report in 2016, engaged employee scores have ranged from 26% to 33% and disengaged employee scores have ranged from 15% to 20%.

Employee engagement is commonly defined as the emotional commitment employees have to the organization and its goals. Initially, employee engagement changed the focus from employee satisfaction, happiness, or working for a paycheck to the employees’ willingness to give discretionary effort to their companies.

Lately, many consultants and technology platforms have focused employee engagement on how well managers relate to their teams. Technology platforms regularly survey employees (often as weekly or quarterly) to measure their engagement by focusing on how well managers relate with and communicate, give feedback, and provide recognition to employees. This market is estimated by The Starr Conspiracy Employee Engagement Brandscape Report™ to be a whopping $74 billion.

I and others (including Gallup CEO John Clifton) suggest that overly measuring to an employee engagement score is misguided. Executives need to manage to the end game: the company’s improved market share and financial success.

Research by Culture Amp and The Metrus Group shows that investing in learning and career development goes further to reduce turnover and improve performance than classic employee engagement efforts.

Research by Facebook People Analytics shows that redesigning jobs to play to employee strengths and interests does more than classic employee engagement efforts to prevent turnover.

Research by Harvard’s John Kotter and InnovationOne shows that developing adaptive and innovative cultures drives to the end game: improved innovation, market share and financial success.

Join me for DisruptHR San Francisco Bay Area on May 31 at 5:30 PM at the Domenico Winery in San Carlos, CA. I will be giving a ground-breaking presentation on what truly increases employee discretionary effort, and retention. And on what truly increases innovation, and financial performance.

Register here to join us on May 31 at Domenico Winery for DisruptHR San Francisco Bay Area.

Victor Assad is the CEO of Victor Assad Strategic Human Resources Consulting and is a Managing Partner of InnovationOne. He consults and provides “hands-on” support for innovation, global talent strategies, developing agile leaders and teams, and other strategic initiatives. Contact Victor Assad at Visit for valuable free reports. For research on innovation visit


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