“Being engaged at work is not the same as being productive”…

Very interesting article in the Harvard Business Review by Fuller and Shikaloff.  They examine the idea that employees with high ‘engagement’ will be more productive than those not engaged.  The identify one major problem to begin – namely that operators measure employee engagement in a number of different ways.  Having done so, they looked at two companies in order to test if engaged employees were productive than engaged employees.

Company 1 used a commonly used measure – average weekly working hours – to measure engagement.  Since productivity was measure by the number of hours employees worked, not surprisingly there was a strong correlation between engagement and productivity (basically because they were measured in the same way!).

In Company 2 engagement was measured in a different way (although the authors do not explain how).  They identified that roughly equally there were 4 groups of employees within the company, each of which needed managing in a different way:

  • Working long hours + high engagement
  • Working long hours + low engagement
  • Not working long hours + high engagement
  • Not working long hours + low engagement
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