Spider Theory

The Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago has a unique underground cave-like area populated with  golden orb weaver spiders.  The zookeepers use food and water misters to keep the spiders content and in place without cages.  That’s right, these creepy-crawlies are right out in the open and could leave if they wanted.  Yet they don’t leave.

 

The zookeepers have figured out that if they provide the right environment for the spiders, they’ll stay.  Forever.  They just won’t leave.  Seems preposterous that they wouldn’t try to escape from the confines of the zoo to get out into the free world!

WHICH EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT STRATEGY MAKES THE MOST SENSE?

Golden Handcuffs

This is a euphemism for engaging employees with programs, perks, pay, options, etc. that make it impossible for the employee to want to leave.  The job may not be the best, but when those stock options come due…you get the idea.  This would keep turnover to a minimum, focus employees on a specific goal, keep them motivated.  Are long-term stock options and similar ‘vesting’ plans the way to go?

Pay for Performance

An honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay.  Those that outperform their goals get paid more than those that do not meet goals. As long as an employee is doing what it takes to get ahead, so be it.  All about the goal, right?

Ice Cream Social

Theory here is that if a company provides enough little perks, e.g. free ice cream once in a while, a company picnic, maybe a ‘crazy shirt Friday’ event, employees will LOVE the company and stay on irrespective of the culture.  Will a double rocky-road in a waffle cone make it happen?

Galluping Along

There is a science to employee engagement too.  Gallup has their Q12 that can measure engagement.  Does a survey work best?

DOES THE ‘END’ JUSTIFY THE MEANS?

 

If employees are happy, and the business that pays them gets the work completed as needed, does the means (within ethical/legal bounds) in which companies engage/keep their employees really matter?

After all, ignorance can be bliss.

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