Dr. Brad Shuck, University of Louisville was a featured speaker on RPI’s first ever Virtual Conference in October. Below are some key highlights and summary of his session. You can get the full on-demand session at the RPI Learning Center.
When we think about recognition, we think about engagement, value propositions and how all that wraps up into an employee experience. Years ago we didn't have the research that helped us understand that employee experience. But today we do have evidence-based research that can help us drive that practice.
What we found that we were really missing was a framework to understand how engagement really happens. We knew that engagement existed and it is connected to recognition. We knew that if we could develop cultures of engagement, that if we could dive into that, we could drive these outcomes that were really important. And that when people felt recognized for their work when they said things like, “I'm doing meaningful work here”, “I feel like my coworkers have my back, “when I feel like my work is connected to something that's bigger than me.”
When people had these things, they reported higher levels of engagement overall. So now there's this real kind of deep understanding about engagement. Let me just give you my definition of when I say employee engagement or job engagement or work engagement – “the maintenance, the intensity and the direction of effort and energy that we give to something.” I'm maintaining a presence and a place in this space. I'm giving it direction. That engagement without, for just engagement sake is in a vacuum. But real engagement has maintenance, it has direction, and then it has this balance of intensity. This feeling of I'm going towards something and seeing this is, this is what distinguishes engagement from almost every other job attitude variable out there from things like job satisfaction or organization commitment that when we really dig into the idea of engagement as being dynamic and having a balance of intensity, that I'm moving towards something, it transforms into something that is uniquely special.. The other thing that I love about engagement when we frame it from this perspective is that not only is it life giving and so many ways it's people who tell us that they work in places where they believe that their work matters, that they, they have joy, that they feel cared for.
Where engagement is high, they tell us that their lives are transformed and so engagement is not transactional. Engagement is transformational. It's you give to me and I give to you and this dynamic proportion, but engagement is this transformational variable that takes everything to the next level. What's really, really clear about this in the research for us is that spaces have recognition. Experiences of recognition are directly connected.
For the full presentation of this compelling research, go to the RPI Learning Center. All five on-demand virtual conference sessions with handouts are now available for purchase on the RPI Learning Center. Each hours is $25 for premium and business partner members and $35 for others.