A Guide to Dysfunctional Management and the Evil Workplace
September 3rd, 2012 by William

Employee Engagement – Buzzwords for Servant Leadership

“Employee engagement” is the latest business management buzz-phrase. An “engaged employee” is one who is fully involved in, and enthusiastic about their work, and thus will act in a way that furthers their organization’s interests.

According to Scarlett Surveys (an organization dedicated to fostering the concept of employee engagement and in helping companies use this concept to better their organizations):  “Employee Engagement is a measurable degree of an employee’s positive or negative emotional attachment to their job, colleagues and organization that profoundly influences their willingness to learn and perform at work”.

There are “drivers” that are crucial to employee engagement:

  • Employee perceptions of job importance
  • Employee clarity of job expectations
  • Career advancement/improvement opportunities
  • Regular feedback and dialogue with superiors
  • Quality of working relationships with peers, superiors, and subordinates
  • Perceptions of the ethos and values of the organization
  • Effective Internal Employee Communications
  • Reward for engagement

An “engaged employee” is every manager’s goal despite the fact that most often their actions (how they treat the employees) are counter to its achievement. Yet all the while managers will complain that their employees aren’t engaged. The irony is that all the factors (above) that contribute to an engaged employee are, in reality, in the hands of management to mold. Employees won’t become engaged through osmosis−its management’s responsibility.

Unfortunately in most organizations the dialog above between the Pointy Haired Boss and the Dilbert crew is all too accurate of the attitude of management.


In my book Puttin’ Cologne on the Rickshaw my major trust is that servant leadership is the answer to the ills of modern business. What’s interesting about the concept of employee engagement is that all the ‘drivers’ above are nothing more than the concepts of servant leadership which are in reality just common-sense principles.

Business doesn’t need another buzzword concept to help managers to be more effective and for employees to be more engaged. All that’s needed is a “back to the basics” mentality, or like I said in a previous post: “think inside the box.” Thinking inside the box is all about looking inward and changing the way you do business on a day-to-day basis and that includes how you treat your employees. And how you treat employees on a day-to-day basis is what servant leadership is all about.


One Response to “Employee Engagement – Buzzwords for Servant Leadership”
  1. Anonymous says

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