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Intrinsic Motivation: A New Source 3x Performance?
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Is it time to look again at your engagement data?

Leaders love their employee engagement data, but some are starting to ask themselves if the data is simply ‘too good to be true'.

Leaders are being advised to look more closely at their positive staff engagement data. Could it be ‘too good to be true', especially given all that is happening in the workplace:

  • High levels of Change & Uncertainty.
  • Re-structuring, re-organization & transformation.
  • Widespread consolidation, cutbacks & layoffs.
  • The revolution in ways of working, especially remote working.
  • Widespread talk of performance paranoia & quiet quitting.
  • The pressure to do more with less, with growing levels of stress & even burnout.

These factors should have an impact on workplace engagement and satisfaction. Yet, the data is often positive regardless.

We call it ‘Watermelon Data' – data that is ‘green' (positive) on the outside, but ‘red' (negative) on the inside. Here are some of the experts advising greater care in the use of engagement data:

The danger is that staff may be telling leaders what they want to hear because it is NOT safe to tell the truth. When jobs are on the line, people are naturally going to be reluctant to be anything other than positive.

Given the demands on leaders, it is natural that they would seek the validation of positive staff surveys. The warning is that they may be suspending their natural curiosity because they need to see positive data.

Rosy engagement data could generate a false sense of complacency. It could cause leaders to take high levels of engagement and motivation for granted when the opposite may be true.

Organizations are complex and human behavior is messy. That means leaders must be comfortable with, and even welcome results that are not always positive. Indeed, if your engagement data is all ‘green' (i.e. good), watch out!

Pause to reflect: Could your staff surveys be generating false positives? If so, there's probably a lot more potential to boost satisfaction and engagement than you think. That certainly is good news for your ambitious strategies, projects and initiatives.

Concerned about employee engagement or experience? Talk to us.

This insight emerged from strategic conversations with business leaders on the requirements of delivering today's performance & tomorrow's transformation. It is part of our most exciting research yet:

SOLUTIONS & SERVICES: Here are some of the ways that our research & insights are put to work by our clients:

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