Several years ago—17, to be exact—I wrote a cover story for “Across the Board”, then the flagship magazine of The Conference Board, titled: “The Next Big Thing: A Preposterous Idea Whose Time May Have Come”.
While doing research for a considerably more current writing project the other day, I dusted that old ATB piece off and gave it a read. Although it wasn’t explicitly about employee engagement (that term didn’t become part of the lexicon until years later), I began to see a connection. As I read further, I realized that there wasn’t just a connection to employee engagement; it pretty much got right to the heart of the matter—the institutionally solipsistic assumption that the business has first call on all 168 hours in employees’ weeks and that their personal lives are to be carved out from what’s left over.
You’ll find a pdf of that old—but prescient!—ATB piece on the Articles page of this site. Or you can save a click and read some thoughts that anticipated the current debate about employee engagement here.
(BTW...the sidebars of that pdf lost a lot of resolution during the conversion process, so they're tough if not impossible to read. Sorry about that. Trust me: you're not missing much by not being able to read them. (Whether or not you feel that way about the main body of the text after you've read it is your call.))