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Unchain People From Their Desks

What we really need is employee disengagement

Y’all, we’ve been talking about employee engagement — and the newfound, whatever-the-hell-difference-this-implies “employee experience” — for about 10 years now. Broadly nothing has really happened. Engagement scores on major surveys haven’t really budged; sometimes they’ve gone down. I don’t think we have a “crisis of engagement,” because typically the term “crisis” implies “Something that high-level people care about,” and in reality very few high-level people care about engagement. Work to the top dogs is about being in sixth gear, shipping product, and beating your rivals. They know one definition of “engagement,” which is when they got down on one knee in front of a woman they hoped would ignore their 72-hour work weeks for the next three and a half decades. I jest… or do I?

Real talk/tea: the workplace is often closer to “shockingly inhumane” than “engaging” at a lot of companies. I worked for some real doozies of assholes in my day. Actually, just 2-3 days ago I was getting a chicken sandwich with my cyclist friend and one of my old supervisors walks right by me, makes eye contact, and doesn’t even say anything or nod. Admittedly I didn’t either, but this was a person I spent probably 17-18 months meeting with at least a couple of times per week. Ha. There’s no real “loyalty” or “engagement” around work at some level. We’re all replaceable cogs. It’s just a question of how self-aware you are to admit that. I’m pretty self-aware, but believe me, I have lots of other problems. That’s for another post!

OK, so, what about embracing DISengagement? Huh?

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