Oct 10, 2006

On Gallup's engagement survey



An anonymous comment on an old post says:

"Q12 framework by The Gallup Organization can be perfectly used to measure the engagement levels of employees within the organization"

You can't be serious? '...can be perfectly used to measure engagement'. How on earth can 12 items be argued to surmise 'engagement' across all contexts for all employees? It's a nonsense. These 12 items have been plucked from a climate measure (employees perceptions of their work environment) and a label applied to fit with management need to latch onto the latest buzzword (the Gallup survey has been around a lot longer than the 'engagement' term - why the name change in recent years?). If engagement is the cognitive-emotional-behavioural aspect of peoples' reaction to their work environment, then aggregating 12 climate perception items hardly taps into reactions. For that you need to actually assess the consequence of climate perceptions, not the perception itself. I wish people wouldn't get sucked so easily into the marketing spin provided by a large consulting firm. Maybe practitioners and consultants need to engage themselves more with educating themselves before allocating an inordinate amount of money to the Gallup bottom line.
All very valid points. Can someone from Gallup care to respond ? I personally think that engagement at a aggregated level in the organization should translate into a climate survey, while individual engagement is more contextual and hard to pin down. Overall, what it boils down to is this: What do employers want to define as the components of employee engagement for themselves. Organizations like Gallup give some kind of template to start thinking about it. Of course, if you pay me enough I can custom design a survey for your organization ;-)