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Does this job make my butt look big?

Posted by Meg Bear on May 21, 2008

Thanks to David for reminding me that the blog title is important.  Just for the record, I am not covering that job you had that gave you an extra 15lbs, by making you work 80 hours a week and fed you, round the clock, all kinds of processed snack foods.  That is a topic for another post all together, or a therapy session (or both).

What I am talking about today, is more on the idea of engagement and what I learned at the conference I attended. 

The session was hosted by the Conference Board and it was a preview into their 2008 engagement research .  In a nutshell, they found what we here at TalentedApps have been saying for awhile.  The most critical element of engagement globally is:

A well structured, well designed, inspiring job.

This is not just having a job that provides you with growth opportunities, but also a job that fits well into your broader life, balancing the demands of both your personal and professional needs. 

What is so interesting about this study is how consistent this is across a global population.  The four questions that “worked” in every geography to measure engagement were about:

  1. variety and challenge of the work itself
  2. interpersonal relationship with the manager
  3. shared company values
  4. opportunity for career growth

In the US, there was also a strong correlation between goal alignment and engagement.  My personal guess is that this is evidence that the focus on strategically aligned and managed goals is beginning to take root. 

As we look at strategies for getting the most from ourselves and our teams we must focus closely on how we define and measure jobs.  That, to me, should be the strategic agenda of anyone interested in turning the employee engagement focus from a fad to a result.


Note to the clueless: There is only ever one answer to the question posed in the title — honesty is not at all the best policy where this question is concerned.

2 Responses to “Does this job make my butt look big?”

  1. Mark Bennett said

    Great to see our perspective confirmed! Defining and measuring jobs better creates a self-reinforcing cycle of strategic success for the company as well as a more engaged workforce. In addition, strategically aligned and managed goals to a lot to counter the “dis-engagers” described in “3 Signs of a Miserable Job” by Lencioni: Anonymity, Irrelevance, and Immeasurability.

  2. […] means that you have to let a poor performer go.   You all know that I’m a big believer in job fit.  Finding a role that leverages your strengths is critical for success.  For some, finding the […]

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