Mar 22, 2016
This article is part of a series called Classic TLNT.

Editor’s Note: As I wind down as Editor of TLNT — yes, I’m leaving next month— I wanted to share some of my all-time favorite TLNT posts. Here’s one from September 2013.

Lots gets written about employee engagement, and lots of it sounds the same, but two things are pretty clear:

  1. Organizations everywhere think employee engagement is extremely important; and,
  2. Engagement numbers overall, for the American workforce at-large, are pretty damn dismal.

So, what if we’re chasing after the wrong thing here? What if engagement isn’t really as big a deal as everybody thinks it is, and in fact, there’s something else that is actually a lot more important?

Is engagement really passé?

Bloomberg Businessweek recently talked to John Hegel III, co-director of  Deloitte Consulting’s Center for the Edge, and he believes, Businessweek says, that “employee engagement as a workforce metric is short-sighted, a remnant of 20th century management thinking rooted in outdated notions about scalability and efficiency.”

So, if engagement is passé, what should we now want out of our employees instead?

According to Hegel, “today’s intensifying competitive pressures and fast-moving global markets … require that 21st century organizations need employees who are not simply engaged, but passionate about their work.”

This article is part of a series called Classic TLNT.