I was thinking about how I could improve my awareness of team dynamics, thinking, and productivity from the point of view as a coach and HR practitioner. I could not find looking through the materials on engagement something that stood out to define what I was seeing. I decided to talk about and wrote an intro paper on a term I coined called Employee Adaptive Displacement. Click here for paper. http://bit.ly/xqKb3m
This is a great example of where EAD lies on the continuum of disengagement, burnout, etc. It’s the 2009 Careerbuildersuperbowlad – sets the tone for the behaviors we are looking at. Clip courtesy of superbowladsman 1/22/09 on YouTube. Direct link. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFf1F_c8nMc
The cost of depression and burnout is high – getting better at identification at the line level practitioner is important
Job demands increase but equal attention and time is not being spent on individual motivation – imbalanced results and the beginning of engagement problems are the outcomes
Stress is common to all themes (depression, burnout, EAD) – gets people to think and behave differently
We all have different levels of tolerance, reactions, and perceptions of stress triggers. Certainly not work related issues can impact how people can be in a state of depression, burnout or EAD, from a practitioner’s perspective, we want to focus on the organizational and job factors creating the stressful environment
How we cope with stress at work determines the thoughts, moods, and decisions we make. A feeling of emptiness is common with EAD because we feel stuck
When we can’t solve our stress issues we make a decision: fight or flight or in EAD we are in a form of freezing
In EAD you see some element from both depression and burnout making it difficult to know how low/dissatisfied a person is with work. EAD behavior is less overt. Drifting is like being in the freeze state where a level of inaction leads to the gray areas of performance, productivity, and satisfaction.
-Depression and Burnout bullets adapted from Oldenburg et al (2001)
Moving into what the practitioner can do
The approach is not therapy – practitioners are not clinicians
Normally we start with a problem-implied statement like “what’s wrong?” The reactions are emotionally based and can provide a range of reactions none of which are effective or productive to coach to.
Look at well being not sickness; look to optimize and improve vs treatment (less clinical) – therefore the conversation and communication to determine EAD state is different and requires a focus on the environmental (ie organizational and system) context more so than individual reactions and feelings.
Take a look at the red flags from these sample statements. Let the individual take you to the extreme states (ie depression – heavy focus on anger/sadness and marked behavior shifts or burnout where its all about the job, the work – an exhaustion or cynicism about work life). The EAD conversation allows the practitioner to get more insight into where an individual is in the “drifting” state against the organizational context.
One system or treatment is not isolated – managers and coaches (ie internal or external practitioners) can work together to approach an employee experiencing EAD to bring him or her back to a stasis of engagement and prevent further escalation of behavior into depression or burnout.
Look at the root causes to determine the likelihood of organizational impact on creating a foundation for EAD or other conditions. Why a 3 year period for promotions? Because statistically that is the highest group for turnover after joining a company. This is not an extensive list. Just some areas I have used and looked in to investigate and try to distinguish EAD behavior.
The org design is key because it flows down to the job required to achieve results. From this clarity one can align job profiles with employee skills, strengths and interests that embody the whole person and allow good stress (eustress as defined by Hans Selye) to drive creativity and innovation – and ultimately – more satisfied, happier employees.
One example of how wellness can be integrated into a larger multidisciplinary approach to org design and leadership support that can offset moving people into a state of EAD
These are the things I need to do to see if the term EAD has merit and structure. I’m open to expert inputs and guidance!
Employee Adaptive Displacement
Employee AdaptiveDisplacementA New Condition Joining WorkplaceDepression and Career Burnout asA Factor Impacting Employee Productivity Tony Deblauwe, HR4Change February 6, 2012
• Impact of Workplace Depression and Job Burnout• What Employee Adaptive Displacement is and How it Fits• Suggested Intervention Practices
70% of employees say “you have to 39% of employees feel seniorwork late and work overtime to get management does not exhibit attitudesahead.” and behaviors that reflect they care-Randstad Corporation about the wellbeing of their employees. -Towers WatsonUS workers 72% of USaverage 1,800 workers are nothours on the job a engaged in theiryear: 350 hours work. Definedmore than the as essentiallyGermans and sleep walkingslightly more than throughout theirthe Japanese day.-International Labor -GallupOffice $23 billion in lost workdays every year. - National Institutes of Mental Health
Can I manage everything? JOB DEMANDS MOTIVATION
Comparing Depression and Burnout Workplace Depression: An illness that psychologically and physically affects the way a person functions at work both in personal performance and in relationships. People with a depressive disease cannot merely "pull themselves together" and get better. Job Burnout: A condition characterized by exhaustion, cynicism, and reduced performance in daily work. People experiencing burnout feel depleted emotionally and exhibit a general indifference to tasks and people with low expectations about job satisfaction.
What is Employee Adaptive Displacement? Employee Adaptive Displacement (EAD): A term referring to a condition where an employee appears engaged but is experiencing vagueness in his or her role and purpose leading to a distinct drop in overall productivity. In essence, the worker experiencing EAD is “drifting” through the work day rather than being fully engaged. The worker is “present” (adapts) yet not actively “there” (displaced) in terms of mental and physical awareness and satisfaction related to the job and/or overall of sense of career.
Start with casual conversation (Get the person talking):• Update me on any recent changes to your organization• Has your workload increased as a result of XYZ?• Would it be safe to say you feel a little off your game?• Do you feel like something is not right but not sure what it is?• When was the last time you thought about career growth or change?
Addressing Employee Adaptive Displacement Coach Manager Employee• Inventories/Assessments • Just-in-time feedback • Set priorities• Organizational review • Job analysis • Review core strengths• Professional referral • Alter work arrangements • Respect limits All Interconnected
Ways to Measure Root causesOrganization Metrics Data Collection• # of employees to projected project hours (ie • Organizational Risk Assessment estimation) • Interviews (all levels of organization)• # of promotions in a 3 year period • Review goals and purpose of current• # of incremental to backfill hires employee practices, policies and• Attrition with exit data programs• Engagement Index (Key Categories) • All existing assessment data• Demographics (age/gender by role and tenure) (engagement, diversity, etc)• Organizational change (based on # of org • Individual assessments and feedback realignments, layoffs, key leaderships changes)
EAD Success Model: What It Comes Down To Engagement drivers Twist ofGood Organizational Design Wellness Awareness
59% of engaged employees say that their job brings out their most creative ideas against only 3% of disengaged employees. -Gallup Companies with a highly engaged workforce66% of managers who improved operatingreported that they were income by 19.2% over amotivated at work also period of 12 months;claimed highproductivity levels. Companies with low-Chartered Management engagement scores sawInstitute operating income decline by 32.7% over the same period. -Towers Watson We know where most of the creativity, the innovation, the stuff that drives productivity lies - in the minds of those closest to the work. -Jack Welch, Former CEO General Electric
• Continue research review and general discussion to validate EAD• Discuss ways to clearly differentiate EAD from other conditions• Develop instrument, measure(s) and test