7 Recommendations for a More Engaged Workplace, Dr. Marlene Grenon and Rebecca Kline, EMBA 2018

As organizational leaders, we aim to optimize our customers’ experience for engagement. Yet for employees — those we’re counting to craft those ideal customer experiences — our roadmaps often lead to inevitable burnout.

There is an alternative, according to Marlene Grenon, MD, associate professor of surgery, University of California, San Francisco, and Rebecca Kline, general manager of Growth at PagerDuty, both members of the IE Brown Executive MBA Class of 2018.

For their Key Reflection Project, Grenon and Kline performed a survey of over 200 employees and interviewed business leaders to get their perspectives on what contributes to employee disengagement and how to measure it. They also drew on literature from related neuroscience, engagement, and workplace research. Then they examined the societal, generational, and business trends that contributed to negative workplace outcomes for the individual, the business, and society.

What Grenon and Kline discovered was a growing tension between the old scientific management techniques — the standardized performance metrics, incentives, punishments, and promotions pioneered in the Industrial Revolution — and what is needed today. Attempts to adapt these antiquated approaches to the modern workplace leave managers falling further and further from the effective motivators needed in today’s workforce.

They concluded, “feeling valued,” — alongside communication and transparency, flexibility, innovation and caring — are the keys to optimizing employee experience. Based on their findings, Grenon and Kline offered seven evidence-based leadership approaches that can help shift an organization’s focus to successful employee engagement.

We welcome you to learn more about their research and seven suggestions for creating a more engaged workplace in the presentation below.

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