On one of my LinkedIn group discussions, I contributed a post a week or so ago and then just completed what even I would refer to as a rant. I did it with good intentions, but I am just so tired of seeing all these REAL problems with people and engagement and motivation and then seeing these issues addressed with seemingly little or no importance by the people who should be actively working for the people to support performance. Arghhhhhhhhh…

The discussion question was:

Hi, We are planning to start a initiative where one full day is dedicated to listening to employee problems. As this is a HR initiative I am looking for some catchy names. Any suggestions?

I think this was asked with some serious intention, but many of the responses felt a bit goofy and lightweight so I posted up this on Friday:

Scott Simmerman, Ph.D. • Catchy Names? How about “Ideas about Improving our Organizational Reality” or “A Desk is a Dangerous Place from which to View the World — We NEED your feedback and thoughts.” 

The issue is that people talk but no one listens. Since Trust is the Residue of Promises Fulfilled (Frank Navran), the reality is that all that talk generating no ACTION is a deadly thing. Engagement has been reported to have dropped from 23% to 14% in one year because people are only talking about it. 

HR cannot do this. HR cannot IMPLEMENT squat. People are tired of talking about problems and seeing nothing change. 

VERY tired.

Since no one actually seems to look at the posts in any detail to get the good ideas — and there were some good ideas — the lightweight stuff continued. So, with the Pin hitting the Balloon,

Motivation and Employee Dissatisfaction

I just now posted up this:

Scott Simmerman, Ph.D. • Most of these are very softball names for what is a hard-core problem. They SOUND like they are coming from HR and that is great if that is how you want to position it.

But if YOU are an employee who feels that you have been treated badly and your ideas for workplace improvement are not listened to and you are under-trained and under-paid and that your Boss is an idiot who should be fired and you have no clue as to what you do helps the company accomplish anything and you think that you sell a bad product to stupid customers, do you REALLY think that these are good names for this initiative?

  • Hear we are! 
  • HR Hears!! 
  • E-day 
  • You speak, We respond 
  • Ear 2 Hear 
  • Do U Want to Say Something

(I do NOT mean to pick out anyone or any particular examples, only to make the point of the SERIOUSNESS of this issue / opportunity to the people working and the Most Senior Managers (who generally do not have a clue as to what people really think).

We have people who feel that they are working in awful situations and personally frustrated. Use the Chinese manufacturing examples where the workers are jumping off roofs because of how they feel and you are going to use “Ear 2 Hear” as the name of the program designed to SOLVE THEIR PROBLEMS?


“A Desk is a Dangerous Place from Which to View The World.”
   (John LeCarre) 
and there are Most Serious Issues and Problems out there.

I posted up some thoughts around this a year ago: 

and I have some other thoughts on engaging and motivating the middle 50% here:

This is a Most Serious Situation for millions of workers, so do not treat this as some sort of “HR issue” and come in thinking that nothing is wrong with how most organizations really work. That is clearly NOT the case.

(Sorry for my rant, but I am tired of HR being continually seen as irrelevant, bureaucratic paper pushers for most organizations.)

I will simply let that stand on its own, with no additional comments. But I am seriously concerned about how organizations motivate their people and listen to their ideas and HR could do so much more in so many organizations. Wish that would change…

Scott Simmerman, team building facilitator

Dr. Scott Simmerman is a designer of team building games and organization improvement tools. Managing Partner of Performance Management Company since 1984, he is an experienced presenter and consultant.
Connect with Scott on Google+ – you can reach Scott at scott@squarewheels.com

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