In recent years, engagement has become the modern workplace’s Holy Grail. With just about a third of employees actively engaged on the job, many companies are investing heavily to identify what exactly leads to engagement to increase employee productivity and retention rates. However, engagement
is an ambiguous term. It could mean personal job satisfaction, emotional investment in the company mission, willingness to invest discretionary effort, or brand advocacy. While most studies agree that engagement leads to improved business results, a deeper dive into the data shows this might not always be the case, especially at the individual level, and it really depends on how engagement is measured. If the metric is agreeing with the sentiment “company X
is a great place to work,” what may be thought of as engagement may actually be a reflection on the employee's match with the corporate culture. If this culture simply plods along, maintaining the status quo, an employee who would be marked as “engaged” may not be the most productive individual. What’s more, employees who are dissatisfied with this status quo, and on a mission to shake things up, may read as disengaged because they don’t mesh with the culture.