It seems a lot of folks are talking about employee dissatisfaction, which is reported to be rampant after the recession, and how many workers are ready to jump ship. Employers, meanwhile, are trying to figure out how to retain top talent.
In a post at The Leadership Advisor, however, writer William Powell says companies that try to keep employees happy about every little thing will go down the tubes.
What employee engagement isn't is making sure everyone likes everything and happily sits around a campfire holding hands and singing "Kumbaya." ... It's not a pee wee football game where everyone is great as long as they showed up and stood somewhere on the field at some point; it's still a business. Being focused only on employee satisfaction as the principal idea behind employee engagement puts an organization in a compromising position to reward poor performance, as long as they're happy about it. What business sense does it make to have satisfied under performers?
He argues that employees want to be engaged in their work:
Move beyond making everyone feel warm and gooey and give them the opportunity to become engaged. It is NOT the same thing. Provide for their well-being, value and appreciate them, empower them, and help them see how what they do matters. Continue to communicate clearly, hold them accountable, define their responsibilities, and get on with running a successful and profitable organization.