THE WORST EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT IDEA OF THE WEEK

From the opening paragraph of an article in "Mobile Enterprise" headlined GoDaddy Selects Jive Software To Connect, Engage Employees Worldwide :

“GoDaddy (www.godaddy.com) has grown to 14 facilities – from Silicon Valley to Hyderabad to Belfast – with engineering teams spread across a majority of these locations. To create strategic alignment, employee engagement and communications, the company is deploying an interactive intranet solution from Jive Software (wwwjivesoftware.com) that will help employees work together efficiently and effectively, regardless of their location or the device they are using.”

I guess that sounds reasonable enough.  The problem, though, is that employee engagement requires more than dropping those 18 letters in among other corporate buzz-speak like “strategic alignment” and interactive intranet solution”.  And while helping people “work together more efficiently and effectively, regardless of their location or the device they are using” is a worthy goal, it ain’t engagement.

Things get worse in paragraph 2:

“GoDaddy’s developers are in the process of rolling out several major technology initiatives, and require an interactive digital space where they can share best practices and knowledge amongst team members. By launching Jive-n to more than 4,500 employees this summer, the solution integrates with the company's JIRA service desk technical community so colleagues can easily share actionable project ideas and content across time zones or functional teams. The company is using Jive's gamification features to increase idea sharing, collaboration and feedback.”

Here's the test: When an article purportedly about engagement invokes too many words and phrases like “major technology initiatives,” “interactive digital space,” “share best practices,” and “actionable project ideas,” it’s heading off-course.  It makes it too easy for people to think that they are truly engaging engagement when in fact such mechanical, instrumental concepts are shielding them from having to do the hard, slogging person-to-person work that true engagement calls for.

Then again, we shouldn’t expect a high level of enlightenment from a company best known for scantily clad NASCAR drivers.  On a brighter note, they have not—yet—forced us to juxtapose the concepts of “Tony Stewart” and “thong,” so I guess we should be grateful for that.

JG