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Is Engagement a Behavior or an Outcome?

Paul Hebert, VP of Solution Design at Symbolist and Social Media Editor for the EEA, recently blogged about a CVS study that highlights the results of experiments the company conducted to see what worked best to get people to quit smoking. The study showed greater behavior change when the subject was “penalized” by forfeiting money in addition to earning awards vs. simply earning a reward. Hebert notes that the net-net here is:
  1. Incentives work
  2. Incentives with penalty work better
“As I read the CVS study and its evidence that contradicts quite a few ‘beliefs,’ I began to wonder if the problems of employee engagement we experience with our organizations are due to executives, HR professionals and consultants falling victim to this bias,” he says. “Are we all simply searching for and finding, reiterating, sharing and implementing ideas that support our current beliefs relative to engagement? Should we be asking different questions? Should we think about engagement as a behavior, not an outcome or a state of mind? Are we spending enough time finding data that contradicts our beliefs, or are we constantly searching for things that make us feel like we’re right to start with? Is the continued problem with engagement a function of us continually doing the same thing over and over because we are biased?” Read Hebert’s full post here >
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