EEA Web Site Visitors Are Engaged in Their Work—Paul Herr Guest Blog

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The Enterprise Engagement Alliance (EEA) conducted a voluntary poll on its website over the past two years, and the results are in. Visitors to the Enterprise Engagement portal who participated in our Personal Engagement Meter are relatively engaged in their work. According to the results, the “emotional paycheck” for the people who took the poll was positive – 4.0 on a scale that extends from minus 10 to plus 10, which means that most respondents on the EEA get an intrinsic reward “bonus” on top of their monetary pay. The emotional paycheck score for the EEA poll, by the way, was close to the average emotional paycheck for all companies using Herr’s survey tool (positive 5.0).

According to a study commissioned by the Conference Board in 2009, employee engagement boils down to the emotional connection between employees and their employer. The EEA poll was designed along these lines by researcher and author Paul Herr to measure the strength of this emotional connection directly by assessing how employees feel about their work. The EEA poll is nearly identical to Herr’s “Horsepower Survey,” the tool he uses to assess the motivational “temperature” of his corporate clients.

The poll questions probe what matters most to employees at a deep, emotional level. We’ve all heard the marketing maxim: “The buying decision is 80% emotional and 20% rational.” The EEA thinks this insight extends to all human decisions, including the decision by employees to work hard.

horespowersurvey3Visitors to had the option to benchmark their personal engagement using the Personal Engagement Meter. The poll consisted of seven questions. The final question probed for the overall “gestalt” feeling that employees experience as they arrive at work, asking “How do you feel in general if you add up all of your positive experiences and deduct all of your negative ones – in other words, do you arrive at work with a smile or a frown?”

The questions were designed to measure the intangible, or intrinsic, paycheck. The overall paycheck therefore consists of two components: 1) traditional rewards like monetary pay and benefits, and 2) an intangible, emotional component. The poll questions are based on the four-drive model of human motivation developed by Harvard professors Nitin Nohria, Dean of the Business School, and Paul Lawrence, an organizational behavior pioneer. To learn more about the underlying theory behind the poll, check out Nohria and Lawrence’s book, Driven, Herr’s book, Primal Management, or Dan Pink’s book, Drive.

Tell us what you think. Do feelings matter in the workplace?

How do you feel when you arrive at work (dread or exhilaration)?

Are feelings a good proxy for measuring the state-of-repair of the U.S. workforce? Your thoughts and insights are always welcome.

To benchmark your personal engagement, click here.

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