Employee engagement. It is the latest and greatest corporate buzz phrase, at least for the corporation I work for. But what does it mean?
If you ask the company it is a quotient based on what an employee says about the corporation, their strivings to do for the company, and whether the employees are staying with the company over the longterm or not. If you ask the employee, especially the ones who have been deemed "not engaged", it is the level of abuse you are willing to put up with for the salary and benefits you receive.
Just like the abusive parent who sits at the table with the liquor and smokes while moaning that their children just don't love them, the corporation's board of directors spends a great deal of time wondering where it all went wrong. Surveys are done and staff meetings are called to go over the results. The presenter always says the same thing, "We just don't know why you're not engaged." Anyone who tries to explain it to them is quickly shut up and shuffled out the door.
You've probably guessed by now that I am "not engaged" at work. It's hard to care about the corporation when the corporation has made it clear that they don't care about you. Programs put into place to benefit the employee are used instead to control and manipulate them. Incentives are used to create tension and discord between employees. The contract is interpreted and re-interpreted constantly until very few of us are even sure what the words mean anymore. Information in place to be used by all employees is instead withheld and/ or requests for information are instead funnelled to your manager who berates and threatens you. Pride in a job well done has been twisted to mean that we must give 150% effort in 50% of the time and for 30% of the costs. Family be damned. Health be damned. Sanity be damned.
We were informed at 2:30 yesterday that three positions have been surplussed. In other words, the work being done by 10 people last week, must be done by 7 people next week. And there will be hell to pay if overtime, response times, or sick days increase at all. This move was done for no other reason than to "bring the department more in line with other departments across the nation.", even though else where in the nation the work done by our department is actually performed by two separate departments under two separate branches of the corporation.
So, like the child of an abusive parent, I lay awake at night and listen for the sound of my doom. I cringe whenever my name is called, fearing that some how I have done something wrong again. I wake in tears each morning, dreading another minute in the shop. Is my workbench clean enough? Will I be able to meet the deadlines assigned to me? Am I going to get confronted by the manager and have to justify my task and schedule? How can I possibly be in two places at once, regardless of what the schedule says? Will they actually give me the help required for heavy lifting, when I ask them? Or, like last time, will I be told "At the end of the day, the job has to get done."?