Best of TLNT: Top 5 Employee Engagement Stories of 2020

There’s a reason that so many HR tech vendors love citing Gallup’s findings on employee engagement. It’s because year after year, Gallup “reveals” that most employee are not engaged. But hey, good news! There’s a tech solution for that.

No. There. Is. Not.

Technology will never solve any employee engagement issues. Though some tech providers will try to convince you otherwise, the truth is that technology is a tool, not a solution. And while I absolutely believe that tech is critical to the future of work, I also know that a chatbot or AI or some algorithm will not solve the inherently human problem of boosting employee engagement.

Now, back to Gallup. The company’s reporting of engagement practically guarantees abysmal scores. “There’s nothing wrong with Gallup’s approach,” writes talent strategist Marc Effron, “but their consistently low numbers provide a juicy statistic with a strong brand name attached for those who want to falsely argue that the workplace is in distress.”

In fact, Effron found that SHRM, AonHewitt, and at least four other survey firms measure employee engagement significantly higher — up to 54 points higher! — than Gallup does. You think an HR vendor wants to cite those digits?

Exactly.

Ultimately, we’ve got some major work to do to improve the employee experience. But let’s also stop acting as if disengagement is some overwhelming epidemic. We’ve already got one of those to deal with.

Check out some of TLNT’s best employee engagement pieces from 2020.

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Vadim Liberman is editor TLNT and ERE.net (the devil wears TJ Maxx) — a workplace renegade advancing how we think, work, and live. He has previously worked as a strategy consultant to HR and recruiting tech companies at The Starr Conspiracy, as a talent management professional at Prudential, and as senior editor of The Conference Board Review, a magazine for business leaders. Vadim loves to talk about all things HR, talent acquisition, and Bravo TV shows. Bring it!

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