Niedawno gościliśmy w Polsce Scotta Blancharda. Jak sam mówił o sobie jest synem autora „Jednominutowego menedżera”, czyli Kena Blancharda – niekwestionowanego guru w zakresie przywództwa (zainteresowanych zachęcam do zapoznania się z wynikami badania Leadership Gurus). Zresztą w trakcie kilku zorganizowanych w związku z jego przyjazdem spotkań przytaczał wiele anegdot dotyczących życia rodzinnego. Warto wspomnieć, że rodzina Blancharów miała ustalone wartości, które zostały uzgodnione z każdym z członków rodziny. Ich lista wisiała w domu w widocznym miejscu. W przypadku, gdy któreś z dzieci Kena Blancharda zachowywało się w sposób niepoprawny, to nie otrzymywało tradycyjnej bury tylko musiało stanąć na forum rodziny i wytłumaczyć wszystkim dlaczego zachowuje się w sposób niezgodny z wartościami rodziny. Jak widać w tej historii Ken Blanchard jest autentycznym przykładem wcielanie w życie koncepcji, które głosi.
W trakcie swojego pobytu w Polsce Scott Blanchard miał okazję spotkać się z kilkudziesięcioma przedstawicielami polskich firm. Podstawą do rozważań był model pokazujący zależności pomiędzy jakością przywództwa strategicznego i operacyjnego, a pasją pracowników i oddaniem klientów i wpływem tychże na witalność organizacji.
Scott prezentował wyniki badania, które zostało przeprowadzone przez The Ken Blanchard Companies odnośnie budowania zaangażowania i środowiska wspierającego pasję u pracowników. W czasie swoich wystąpień Scott Blanchard omawiał dwanaście czynników, które przyczyniają się do wzbudzenia u pracownika pasji. Przedstawione wyniki badań i koncepcje wzbudziło duże zainteresowanie wśród przedstawicieli działów HR, obecnych na jego wystąpieniach. Wynika z tego, że budowanie zaangażowania jest tematem, z którym boryka się wiele polskich organizacji. Zachęcam do zapoznania się z pełnym artykułem (dostępnym poniżej), podsumowującym wspomniane badania oraz do kontaktu z nami.
From Engagement to Work Passion
A deeper understanding of the Work Passion framework
Maximizing the productivity and profitability of organizational workforces continues to be a key focus for organizations. In light of this, since 2006, The Ken Blanchard Companies® has been exploring the relationships between leadership, employee satisfaction, customer satisfaction, and organizational performance. The first study included the creation of a model that we titled The Leadership-Profit Chain (Figure 1), which was grounded in a literature review of hundreds of studies and metaanalyses from 1980 through 2005. The study concluded that strategic and operational leadership were the key variables for driving Employee Passion and that Employee Passion, in turn, was a key factor in creating Customer Devotion and Organizational Vitality. In this white paper we will review the research conducted to date by The Ken Blanchard Companies and also present new research, discuss new learnings, and explore implications for future research.
In early 2006, The Ken Blanchard Companies began to explore the part of the model corresponding to Employee Passion, or engagement, as part of a larger framework for a high performing organization. Our study began with a literature review of hundreds of studies from academic sources and commercial consulting and training firms. One of our key findings was the lack of an agreed-upon definition of employee engagement, or what we call Employee Passion. Each study we reviewed offered a different explanation, definition, and view of employee engagement, which blurs rather than clarifies the concept. Another finding was that much of the commercial research on employee engagement focuses specifically on the extent to which an individual is engaged or disengaged while overlooking the fundamental importance of the appraisal process the individual goes through to become engaged or disengaged.
Based on these observations, we embarked on our own empirical research. Specifically, the first study was designed to
• Create a general definition of Employee Passion
• Determine what factors and soft measures contribute to Employee Passion
• Create a consistent, reliable measure of the factors that influence Employee Passion
• Create a model that incorporated the aspects of organizational commitment, certain
aspects of job commitment, and the individual appraisal process
Employee Passion—Study 1
Our first study was designed to examine the degree to which respondents felt that certain variables that influenced Employee Passion existed within their organization. Data was collected from more than 2,000 HR and Training leaders and line managers and analyzed statistically using an exploratory and a confirmatory factor analysis. The results, presented in a white paper titled Employee Passion—The New Rules of Engagement, were published in 2007.
Key findings were
• At least eight key factors are responsible for driving Employee Passion. These include Meaningful Work, Autonomy, Collaboration, Fairness, Recognition, Career Growth, Connectedness to Colleagues, and Connectedness to Leader.
• While these eight factors are not all inclusive, they represent a majority of the influencers of Employee Passion.
• Each of the eight factors is interdependent of each other, and all must be present for Employee Passion to be maximized.
• While there was no statistically significant ranking among the eight factors, Meaningful Work was perceived to be most present in the minds of our survey population, and Career Growth was perceived to be the least present.
The original definition stemming from our research encompassed not only the eight factors that lead to Employee Passion but also clarified the resulting behaviors that drive organizational commitment.
Our Or iginal Def ini t ion of Employee Passion
Employee Passion is the positive emotional state of mind resulting from perceptions of worthwhile work, autonomy, collaboration, growth, fairness, recognition, connectedness to colleagues, and connectedness to leader, all of which lead to standards of behavior that include discretionary effort, long-term commitment to the organization, peak performance, low turnover, and increased tenure with the organization.
New Learnings Employee Passion—Study 2
While our initial Employee Passion study surfaced interesting findings, our exploration of this topic was simply a beginning. Throughout 2007 and 2008, we continued our literature review of more than 200 studies on engagement and refined our goals for a second study. Specifically, our goals for study 2 were to conduct empirical research to
• Correlate our initial evolving assessment with validated assessments and scales that measured organizational commitment, job commitment, intent to stay, employee
endorsement, and discretionary effort to confirm that our assessment accurately measured these dimensions
• Segment the data collected by certain demographic factors and compare differences and similarities in the responses of different groups since current research on employee engagement had not begun to compare demographic differences but only geographic differences in the levels of engagement
• Compare the responses of managers and non-managers since current research had not measured the perceptional differences of management versus line employees but had simply provided an aggregate picture across all levels as to whether employees in general were engaged or disengaged
• Begin to build a normative database for organizations to benchmark themselves against
What Drives Engagement— Job Commitment or Organizat ional Commitment?
An observation we had in regard to our literature review was that many academic researchers linked the concept of employee engagement to job commitment while commercial research linked employee engagement to organizational commitment. We believe that job commitment and organizational commitment, while separate concepts, become intertwined with and play important yet separate roles in defining Employee Passion. Through our research, we sought to understand how these two different concepts influence a concept that goes beyond employee engagement.
How Is Work Passion Different than Engagement?
In Study 2, we changed our terminology from “Employee Passion” to “Work Passion” because we felt it better describes that all individuals, not just those deemed to be “rank and file employees,” must have passion for their work regardless of their role in an organization. Whether one is an owner, leader, line worker, contract employee, or affiliate, etc., Work Passion is an imperative for Organizational Vitality. Another rationale for the change in
terminology from Employee Passion to Work Passion is that both organizational and job factors influence an individual’s level of Work Passion. Engagement is typically associated with either job commitment (burnout, well-being, etc.) or organizational commitment (intent to stay, endorsement, etc.) but typically not associated with both. We feel Work Passion is better explained by social cognition, appraisal theory, and research—and encompasses both job commitment and organizational commitment; therefore it is a different and more expansive concept than engagement.
Understanding How the Process of Work Passion Is Created
In order to understand how Work Passion occurs, one must first understand the process an individual goes through in deciding to engage in a specific behavior. As stated earlier, much of the research does not take the full scope of this process into account. In our original Employee Passion model, we did not take the full extent of the appraisal process into account either. Our original Employee Passion model was presented in a white paper entitled Employee Passion: The New Rules of Engagement. While our original Employee Passion model implied a process for the development of Work Passion, it did not fully take into consideration certain important psychological concepts that help clarify how individuals form opinions. Through deeper exploration we began to incorporate significant ideas found in cognitive psychology. In order to fully understand how Work Passion occurs, one must first understand the appraisal process that individuals use to
1. Come to conclusions about the environment (or in this case the organization), and
2. Determine how they are going to behave as a result of their perceptions.
When individuals come to a decision about something, there is a cognitive and affective component to their appraisal process. As a result, the individual forms perceptions and opinions and then intentions to act, which then lead, in most cases, to action or behavior. The appraisal process is an ongoing, interactive process that allows individuals to assign significance and meaning to what is happening to them. Individuals generally experience both a primary appraisal in regard to how the event or experience will affect them personally and a secondary appraisal in regard to understanding what their options are. Both primary and secondary appraisals have three elements:
1. The personal attributes of the individual (values, perceptions, motives, etc.)
2. The attributes of the event or experience being appraised
3. The meaning the individual derives from the appraisal
An individual’s choices are driven by his or her understanding of how the experience or event being appraised impacts his or her well-being. Since all people are meaning-oriented and meaning-creating, they are constantly evaluating the environment from the standpoint of their own well-being and reacting rationally (cognition) and emotionally (affect) to those evaluations.
Cognition and affect go hand in hand, happening almost simultaneously, over and over, as individuals make sense of a situation to reach their conclusions about what is happening, what it means to them, how it will affect them, how they feel about that, what they intend to do, and finally, what they actually do, all filtered through the lens of who they are.
A New Definition for Work Passion
A weakness with many existing definitions of employee engagement is that they neither offer enough specificity to be measurable nor take the appraisal process into consideration. While our original definition of Employee Passion was measurable, it did not clearly acknowledge the true course of appraisal as an ongoing, meaning-based process. Our new definition—Work Passion is an individual’s persistent, emotionally positive, meaning-based state of well-being stemming from continuous, reoccurring cognitive and affective appraisals of various job and organizational situations, which results in consistent, constructive work intentions and behaviors—not only accounts for the appraisal process but also offers a specific context in which to measure Work Passion.
A New Model for Work Passion
Our original model for Employee Passion contained both the cognitive and affective components of the appraisal process, but depicted them as a linear event rather than simultaneous and ongoing process and also did not consider the role of antecedents. Our revised model for Work Passion was revised to reflect this. See Figure 2.
Empi r ical Research— Work Passion Study 2
In addition to continued literature review of more than 200 studies on the topic of engagement, we launched a second Work Passion study. As stated earlier, the primary purpose of this research was to validate Blanchard’s Work Passion assessment against previously validated scales measuring Organizational Commitment, Job Commitment, Intent to Stay, Employee Endorsement, and Discretionary Effort. A secondary purpose was to collect and analyze the data to determine if there were differences in the responses by demographic groupings. A third purpose was to begin to build a normative database that would allow organizations to benchmark themselves. A fourth purpose was to examine the five questions in our assessment that measure an individual’s intent to act to determine whether they correlated with validated measures of Organizational Commitment, Job Commitment, Intent to Stay, Employee Endorsement, and Discretionary Effort. Statistical analysis revealed that our instrument correlated to the validated scales that measured Organizational Commitment, Intent to Stay, Discretionary Effort, Job Satisfaction, and Employee Endorsement. Additional statistical analysis was conducted to compare responses of different demographic segments. Specifically, this step was taken since, to date, most studies have focused on finding an aggregate figure in regard to the level of employee engagement or non-engagement.
Work Passion Study 2—Aggregate Data and Demographic Analysis of the Eight Work Passion Factors
A second version of our Employee Passion Assessment was deployed in spring 2008, resulting in 1,212 responses from c-level and mid-level managers, HR and training leaders, and frontline individuals from a variety of industries and companies of various sizes around the world. The survey included 45 items grouped in regard to the eight passion factors we had established from the initial Employee Passion study. In addition, five questions were retained from the original survey to create a measure of Passion and/or Intent. Respondents were asked to what degree each of the items existed within their organization using a sixpoint Likert scale, ranging from 1 (to no extent) to 6 (to the fullest extent). Chart 1 shows the aggregate data and rankings for the entire sample.
A key goal in our research was to determine if employee perceptions of the eight Work Passion factors differed when comparing employee demographics of the organization, specifically in regard to tenure, gender, age, and department.
We used null hypothesis tests to determine whether there was a statistically significant difference between the demographic data sets being compared. We also used Cohen’s D to test the degree of statistical difference between demographic groups. Cohen’s D is used to determine not only whether an experiment has a statistically significant effect but also the size of any observed effects. Cohen’s D measures the strength of the relationship between two variables. For example, a small degree of difference indicates that 85.3% or more of the entire data set overlaps, a medium difference means that 67% of the entire data set overlaps, and a large difference means that 52.6% of the entire data set overlaps.