Tuesday, 13 November 2012

#E4S Nailed! – now what?


E4S report cover   So I said I’d come back to you on the new report produced for Engage for Success, titled ‘The Evidence’.  And, errm, well, I sort of wish I hadn’t.  I’m proud to be part of this movement and want to support it.  However I’m not wowed by the report.

It’s not that I’m not pleased to see it produced – I am.  And it’s not that I don’t think it’ll be useful – I do (I’ll certainly keep it close at hand when I’m presenting on engagement as it’s got pretty much all – and quite possibly absolutely all - of the research I might want to refer to there in one place).

It’s just that I don’t think it’ll do that much to boost engagement.  For me, doing this has to be about engagement.  I mean we need to engage people (CEOs, some HR people, a lot of line managers) about why they need to engage their people.

To me, the report is just too dry to do that – starting with what must be pretty much the least inspirational report cover in history and followed up by stat after stat after stat.

So I will say that the report does what it says on the tin - or the cover - very well.  It nails the evidence.  Engagement works – that’s totally clear now if it wasn’t so before.

But to me, the approach a bit like thinking that if one soldier firing a gun at your head maybe isn’t going to kill you, then it’ll be better to have a firing squad of 100 soldiers – then you’ll really be dead.  But are you really going to be any more dead than you would after the one single shot?

So I’m certainly not going to sit here and attempt to summarise or even provide some nuggets from the report – a blog post isn’t the place to do this.

Of course, I might be wrong (it does happen!).  I’m already convinced about engagement (my issues about the concept are pretty minor and I truly do support the movement, if less so the report).  But if I wasn’t already convinced, perhaps this would do it for me.

And perhaps not.  But that’s largely just down to the fact that I’m not that into measurement (and therefore evidence) in the HR / people management space (unless the measures tell a story and if you want to tell a story, do you really need measurement to do it?).  However a lot of people - possibly even more people in HR than in other areas of the business? - suggest they are all about measures.

So perhaps others – and perhaps you? - will find the conclusions have more of an impact than they do for me…

Do let me know if so!

To be continued…


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