% Engagement in Organizations
Engagement is a hot term in many organizations. Everywhere I turn, I see someone mentioning or talking about it, or reporting on it. For instance, I was reading Jacob Morgan's blog recently and one of his blog posts references Modern Suvey's most recent 2012 Spring national norms study on employee engagement across the U.S. workforce. While Modern Survey polls on only 5 results, the results they received are simliar to results reported by Gallup and other industry thought leaders on engagement of employees.

While these results are interesting, I have questions that I believe would help me understand more about the data and help me make a better decisions related to what engagement means to me and how I manage the people that I manage. My questions range from the simple, to the indepth. 

For instance, what types of companies actually used Modern Survey's poll? How about Gallup? Are these polls from groups that are statistically random enough that they prove that this is an overall trend or were these organizations self selecting, and have the risk of skewing the data and analysis? If I were to want to look at what is really happening in the industry or within one company, can I compare against an industry trend line on engagement? What are the trends associated with engagement? Over a period of time, are they going up? Are they going down? Are we measuring and comparing over a 3-6 month time period or has the data been analyzed over a 5-10-15-20 time period? 

The reason I ask for a longer trend line is to guage if companies are really worse off now than they were before, or have we been muddling through poor engagement for a long time and the hope is that engagement will improve overall performance. 

Also, can we prove a company actually has the ability to impact engagement, or are their other factors that play into the final result? I am sure the answer is yes, companies can impact engagement of their employees but there are many other factors that also influence engagement, which are outside the control of the organization. For instance, did engagement scores drop when the economy dropped or gone up? Are there other real life incidents that impact engagement results? 

Maybe the data is available that I am asking for. I am sure that someone has something they can show me that would provide me more information; that would provide me the answer to the questions I have asked. 
If it appears that I don't agree with engagement in organizations, I want to be clear. I do believe in engagement and the power it has. My question is more about, how much power does it have and I always believe in a healthy does of fact checking to ensure that the amount of value anything provides is fully vetted.


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