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Excuse me, Margaret, but I'm getting pretty tired of "engagement" being offered as the solution to all issues. Seem to recall some recent findings that showed an inverse relationship: the most productive employees scored the lowest in "engagement" while the least effective (in management's view) were most engaged. Like the best workers were dissatisfied and trying to create improvement by achieving better results while the most content just wanted to sit back, get max pay for minimal effort and float with the current, dug in like ticks, hanging on for comfortable security.

Guess I'm feeling grumpy, because I also feel that effort is not the same as performance. One is HOW and the other is WHAT; the input process is not necessarily predictive of output product.

Last (finally!) if your "boring" objectives are wrong, talking about problems encountered trying to achieve the wrong results won't do much good at all. Focusing on eliminating obstacles to proper performance still requires an accurate objective for an effective solution. Sorry, if that's boring or if I'm out of line....

No offense intended, but my antenna perk up whenever I see "strategic" mentioned without any reference to "tactics."

I think there may be misalignment with the engagement about which Margaret is talking and the happiness/contentment to which you are referring, Jim. If we are talking about willingness to expend discretionary effort, those folks that may be unhappy with the current state but are still offering up that effort may in fact be more engaged/productive than those that not invested in the organization, but are really happy with what the organization does for them. I received a lot of food for thought with this article in terms of tactics related to how you might reward those supervisors who bring forth, from their people, what gets in the way of doing great work from a leadership, resources and process perspective. Perhaps what is really being said here is that, on your laundry list of objectives, hearing from your people should be included each and every year.

It's so good to hear you found the article useful, Amy. When we write for Compensation Café, we don't know who's reading our thoughts and whether they can use them. This article seems to have hit a useful note for a lot of people because it's been tweeted and picked up by other HR blogs. But best of all, I heard from you, and how you could put it to use. Thanks so much for a personal touch!

You are welcome! Although I rarely comment, I love this blog. It is been invaluable to my development as a practitioner and I read the posts regularly. When is your book coming out?

Thanks, Amy, for calling attention to differences between the type of engagement (energetic maximized contribution) that Margaret certainly meant and the "sticky" engagement that might be measured by surveys. It is often difficult for surveys to distinguish between "engaged" responses from those who cling lazily to the employer and from those who are resolved to contribute to the maximum extent. Dependency is quite different from dedication, but both can be considered "engagement." It's a fine but important point.

Please don't let my quibbles detract from an excellent article. If I anticipated some misunderstandings that can be similarly clarified in further discussions, that's good. There's never enough space in a short blog piece for comprehensive exposition! This café exists to stimulate ideas, not to suppress them

And props to Margaret for a great thought-provoker!

Amy, thanks for asking about the ETA of the book. Ann, Dan and I are excited because we're in the last phases. We're really close and hoping to release it very, very soon. (Saying "the next few months" makes it seem far too far away. It seems like we'll get there sooner than that.)

Thrilled that you're our target audience,

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