Employee engagement has been a popular focus area for both HR function and people managers for the last 10 years. For leaders, the promises of improved talent retention and enhanced organizational performance are attractive, particularly as drivers of tangible business outcomes like productivity, innovation and customer service. The logic behind this focus is fairly simple – if employee performance is the combination of individual talent and engagement, then the best way to maximize talent is to ensure that it is engaged.
While this sounds reasonable, and perhaps a little obvious, the reality is that many companies chase improved levels of employee engagement without considering the broader science1 of employee attitudes and motivations at work. This leads to incorrect assumptions about engagement (and its outcomes), which could be the reason why so many companies have found it difficult to realize the benefits they would expect.
To address this, a deeper understan...
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