"Engagement is flawed because we count every boat the same."

November 30, 2018 Sarah Mulcahy


When it comes to employee engagement, do we have it all backwards? Are we truly engaging employees? Or are we inadvertently excusing those who take little accountability or responsibility for their actions?

It’s a fascinating idea, and one that WorkHuman 2019 speaker Cy Wakeman is very passionate about. Cy returns to the WorkHuman stage for the third time next year in Nashville, Tenn., March 18-21 (click here if you still need to reserve your spot).

In addition to hosting a recent tweet chat with Cy, we had the pleasure of interviewing her on WorkHuman Radio (to listen, click play below). Cy talked about the differences between accountability and engagement and how to change your perspective when it comes to internalizing feedback.

Here’s something I learned in this episode: Cy went to school for economic development in the developing world. Is there anything Cy can’t do?

In addition to learning Cy’s favorite Thanksgiving dish (deviled eggs), I enjoyed the following nuggets of wisdom from Cy:

  • “Most of the evidence on happiness has shown that a majority of your current happiness level is not driven by circumstances; it’s driven by the accountability you take for your work.”
  • “Keep things conversational before they get confrontational.”
  • “The performance review … is like a punch in the face to the ego.”
  • “Feedback is just additional data for growth.”
  • “The ability to take any feedback without defense frees you up to learn so much about yourself.”

What did you take away from the conversation? Cy will share more about why engagement is broken and how to fix it at WorkHuman 2019. Will you join us?

About the Author

Sarah Mulcahy

Sarah is senior content marketing manager at Workhuman. When not writing and reading about all things culture, leadership, recognition, and appreciation, she enjoys iced coffee, running, and spending time with her daughters, Mabel and Eva.

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