Saturday, May 31, 2014

"Engagement" and public diplomacy

As is quite well known (see, item one) "engagement" is (or at least was, for several years) the Obama administration's favorite buzzword to describe what the USA should to interact effectively with foreign audiences, replacing the arguably outdated 1960s-, Cold-War American-produced term -- further infected by the Bush II administration's "why do they hate us war on terror" -- "public diplomacy."

So, quite interesting how "engagement" is defined in a business-oriented article that just appeared in the New York Times on "Why You Hate Work":
Engagement — variously defined as “involvement, commitment, passion, enthusiasm, focused effort and energy” — has now been widely correlated with higher corporate performance. In a 2012 meta-analysis of 263 research studies across 192 companies, Gallup found that companies in the top quartile for engaged employees, compared with the bottom quartile, had 22 percent higher profitability, 10 percent higher customer ratings, 28 percent less theft and 48 percent fewer safety incidents.

A 2012 global work force study of 32,000 employees by the consulting company Towers Watson found that the traditional definition of engagement — the willingness of employees to voluntarily expend extra effort — is no longer sufficient to fuel the highest levels of performance. Willing, it turns out, does not guarantee able. Companies in the Towers Watson study with high engagement scores measured in the traditional way had an operating margin of 14 percent. By contrast, companies with the highest number of “sustainably engaged” employees had an operating margin of 27 percent, nearly three times those with the lowest traditional engagement scores.

JB: Incidentally, when I hear the word passion mentioned above -- a favorite six-letter expression in essays of college applicants -- I take out my whiteout (no, don't worry -- I don't have a revolver).

Passion, dear college applicants, is between lovers, not for getting into college or
landing upon a "great-paying" job upon graduation.

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