“Re-engaging with Fred”

It’s strange how we perceive things to have changed and moved on, frequently we become anxious that we are somehow lagging behind current thinking.

I was reminded of this during the delivery of some courses for a client this month.

I was promoting what for me are the “gurus” of motivation, McGregor, Maslow, Herzberg & Seligman. This was to give the delegates some context to begin to develop their own thinking as to ways of making it “live” for their own teams.

Reflecting on Frederick Herzberg’s “quality of work life” or the quality of life at work, I was drawn again into thinking about his list of “hygiene needs”. Specifically that one about “the quality of the technical & personal support offered to the employee by their supervisor”.

Herzberg implies that motivation is essentially about movement and that both ability and opportunity are key components in securing that movement. There is still a conscious decision to be made about whether “I want to or not.”

In reality that decision is about:

  1. Do I want to do it for you? (my supervisor)
  2. Do I want to do it for you? (my team)
  3. Do I want to do it for you? (my organisation)

1 & 2 above clearly lie within a supervisor’s remit and maybe this is where a platform for engagement needs to start.

This set me thinking that when it comes to employee engagement, should the focus move away from some form of organisational engagement survey to that group of people who have the greatest opportunity to really practice engagement?

Next week, attending Fred’s “engagement” party.



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