November 15, 2012 at 12:04 pm #172441
According to John Kotter, 70% of business transformation efforts fail. Add to that the impact of 71% of American workers who are not engaged or actively disengaged from their work (according to Gallup), and less likely to be productive. This paints a dismal picture for business change and transformation efforts as organizations are clearly not addressing the fundamentals needed for success. Technology, the program plan and/or a lack of vision are not the root issues; it’s the lack of engagement and buy-in from employees who need to embrace new ways of working. When transforming business operations, organizations will need to cement behavior changes and engagement as part of the work activities.
Read the entire blog for a different approach for getting employee’s engaged
“Engagification”of the Enterprise – Gamification and Employee Engagement
November 15, 2012 at 12:09 pm #172451
Related? article from MIT News
Driving drones can be a drag
Study shows distractions may alleviate boredom and improve drone operators’ performance.
Jennifer Chu, MIT News Office
On its surface, operating a military drone looks a lot like playing a video game: Operators sit at workstations, manipulating joysticks to remotely adjust a drone’s pitch and elevation, while grainy images from the vehicle’s camera project onto a computer screen. An operator can issue a command to fire if an image reveals a hostile target, but such adrenaline-charged moments are few and far between.
Cummings says such unstimulating work environments can impair performance, making it difficult for an operator to jump into action in the rare instances when human input is needed. She and researchers in MIT’s Humans and Automation Lab are investigating how people interact with automated systems, and are looking for ways to improve UAV operator performance.
November 15, 2012 at 5:10 pm #172449
Eric R. PayneParticipant
Most organizations are optimized to execute current processes. But with today’s fast shifting environment, leading change and building agile organizations are new skills that leaders must develop (its not an option). As Olding and Kotter indicate – – addressing both the business-side and human-side of change are fundamental to setting yourself up for success. Certainly, employee engagement is one of the big levers for any transformation and gamification should be part of the change leader’s toolkit.
Are we creating leaders and environments suitable to keep up with the pace of change?
November 15, 2012 at 11:55 pm #172447
Eric – I concur. As Social Business begins to change the way we work, leading change become a much more culture and contextual process that requires agility, compassion, curiosity and compassion. The human side of business and the human side of change will bring lasting value when tapped into by leaders. I think we do need to work harder at creating leader and environments that are not only suitable, but survivable to keep up with the pace of change. That means encouraging transparency, leaving egos at that door, welcoming creativity and sometimes willing to take a leap of faith. Still, this makes it the best place to be working.
November 16, 2012 at 3:56 am #172445
I don’t know that it is at all possible to capture how aggravated the flippant use of the term “engagement” by consultants makes me. Certainly, the manner in which is gets used by consulting firms suggests a deep appreciation of consumer psychology, but precious little about human motivation. You will note that the term “engagement” very rarely shows up in the organizational behaviour research literature.
I don’t know that I can make it any plainer than this: managers do not, can not, and never will, create engagement. The shiny object being dangled before them by consultants suggests that it is some magical power they can harness (if they only hired the consultant to show them how). But ultimately, if you have hired right, as a manager, you can either obstruct employees’ zeal for the job, or you can get out of the way. I suppose, if someone else has sapped their motivation, you can try and reawaken it, but don’t kid yourself that you produced it from scratch.
I hasten to remind folks that the antithesis of engagement is burnout, and the entire burnout literature revolves around the assumption that a person began with zeal for the job, and now simply can’t find any love or energy for something they once had plenty of both for.
Yes, I know Gallup’s surveys like to describe employees as engaged or disengaged, but tell me the honest truth: does your job thrill you all day, each and every day? Or do you have doldrums interspersed with just enough bright spots that you have some pretty good days now and then and think you’ll stick it out? Everybody has bouts of “disengagement”, so classifying people as engaged or not is simply a caricature of reality, and disregards the graded and fluid nature of human motivation.
Games are fun. Fun is good, and tends to arouse and sustain motivation. But whose game? Ever tried to coordinate a kids’ birthday party? You can plan all the “neat activities and fun” you want, but if it’s not the game THEY want to play, your planning and preparation is for naught; the kids quickly become distracted. And here is where Deci and Ryan hit it right on the head: “motivating activities” that are not self-generated (or don’t feel like they are) are not nearly as motivating.
I’m a little grumpy today (didja notice?). I had to attend a software training course. The people were nice. The product is fine. The instructor was okay and the materials were decent, I guess. But I’m obliged to take the course not because I wanted to know more about that software, but because someone who knows nothing about my job, and who never asked me what I needed to do my job more effectively, made a decision about what software we would now all adopt (and abandon), and has saddled me with the task of mastering new software, and finding out what that function is called in this package and what drop down list it is found under, in spite of the fact that the existing software did everything required for my job, and then some. The change is that I have to spend my time learning something new in order to do what I already know how to do, and I won’t be doing it any better, just more conveniently for their bookkeeping purposes. Yep, there’s a persuader. IT’s what I live for.
Sometimes it becomes difficult to “engage” employees in technological change because the change is imposed, rather than feeling self-generated. Even when the change actually IS an improvement, the imposition of change without consultation and consensus can undermine employee motivation by devaluing the employee’s efforts up to that point. As I like to put it, engagement is the answer to the perennial employee question “Why bother?”. So when employees put effort into mastering their craft, and get told “We’re changing how we do things”, the message often received (though certainly not intended) is that there really isn’t much point in one’s professionalism or honing specialized skills.
It’s not the fact of change. It’s the way in which change is decided upon, and then introduced. Like I say, as a manager you can either get in the way of existing employee motivation, or you can get out of the way.
November 16, 2012 at 8:18 pm #172443
Emily Nicole HittParticipant
I agree, engagement is so important! For my thesis I am conducting a study exploring Federal Executive branch civilian employees’ work engagement. You are eligible to participate in my survey if you are currently in a full-time civilian (non-Postal) position with the Executive Branch and are 18 years of age or older.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.