The pain of my phone interrupting to sell me something

How many times a day does this happen to you? I am constantly using my phone while working. I HATE it when my phone screen suddenly stutters as a marketing message starts to load. I have NEVER bought anything through a phone ad and never will. I totally agree with the sentiment of a quote I recently saw:

An interrupting phone ad will immediately blackball the advertiser

This led me to think about some of the engagement strategies and processes I have seen in organizations. Many of these strategies come off as being totally contrived. Many times employees are interrupted while at work to attend an employee engagement meeting. The meeting consists of an activity to convince the employees they are working for a great company. There are a lot of clichés which say, if you are something – you don’t have to tell anybody. Conversely, if you feel the need to tell somebody you are something - then clearly you don’t believe you are.

Meeting positive people and hearing their life stories is always fun. A friend of a friend was telling me how they loved their job and how they would never work anywhere else. He felt appreciated and valued. Notice the difference in these two words. He was appreciated as his personal values and the company’s values were in alignment. He was valued as an employee as he helped the company meet their goals. He was good at his job, mentored more junior employees and was innovative. He believed, correctly, his company listened to him.

None of these things will be attained by a contrived meeting

Let’s start with something relatively simple. Have the supervisor/manager take each of their employees and have them rate each employee. On a scale of 1-10, have the supervisor rank the employees from high to low value. Then ask the supervisor to rank whether he believes the employee feels appreciated and valued? Ask each employee to rate themselves. When you do this, you will encounter some very serious issues. Some of your highest valued employees will feel like they are not being valued.

Years ago, I had a secretary who I thought the world of. What I did not know is I was failing miserably at communicating my opinion to her. She did not think I valued her very much at all. Fortunately, all we needed to do was have a conversation. The problem is - these conversations don’t happen enough. The bigger issue is the root problems are almost always much more complicated.  

Would you rather have meaningless contrived meetings or conversations which lead to real results?