Here’s a quote from an article appearing on

“Employee engagement can result in a drastic loss of productivity, costly turnovers, and negative employer-employee relationships. Employers who empower and interactive with their employees experience higher job retention rates and as much as 200 percent more productivity.”

I certainly have no issues with that (although it might have been a bit clearer had the paragraph begun with the words "A lack of").  It was from a guy named Ricky Kalmon, who went on to say:

“The same employee who is disengaged and disinterested can become one of a company’s most valuable assets when they feel empowered and confident that their contributions are valued.”

Yep.  We’re still good.   I began to get concerned, though, when I read that Kalmon had developed “employee engagement programs” that are “tailored to a business’ unique issues, while providing them with the tools and techniques to increase employee self-esteem, confidence, and motivation.”

How to begin?  An SAT-style analogy might be helpful here:

    Tools and Techniques are to Employee Engagement as Paint-by-Numbers is to Art. 

You might feel like you’re creating a masterpiece, but all you’re doing is dabbing colors onto a canvas.  You can put on a smock and a beret and invite your employees to an exhibit of your work, and they’ll show up because they have to.  But they’ll be rolling their eyes over your dilettante-ish approach to something that deserves  more serious-minded consideration.

Things get worse. Kalmon is described as a “Motivational Speaker, Mindset Expert, Empowerment Coach, Celebrity Hypnotist, and TV Personality.” 

Another analogy:

    Motivational Speaking is to Employee Engagement as Twinkies are to Nutrition.

Everybody might get a sugar rush, but it will be gone quickly.  Unfortunately, the extra institutional avoirdupois will last, and it will add to the inertial load on your organization.

And finally:

    Celebrity Hypnotists are to Employee Engagement as Kim Kardashian is to Culture.

Net: If you want to Kardashianize your approach to Employee Engagement, then by all mean sign up for these programs.   But if you want to be a real leader, you might want to consider other alternatives.