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Why do so many real engagement programs fail?

By Ted Smith | Last updated: January 31, 2020

As studies reveal the impact of engagement, it’s become a buzzword not just within the manufacturing industry, but globally among most industries. Unfortunately many engagement programs fail because they’re based on traditional management practices that were created more than 100 years ago. Those practices are based on supervision, compliance, process and in some cases, distrust.

Although they worked well in the time of the industrial revolution, today’s worker has evolved. Today, people want to be self-organized, motivated and plugged into the operation. Not simply told what to do.

Real engagement is not something that can be forced, or created with a management program. Real engagement is a natural by-product that happens when each worker feels they have a voice, not only in their own daily tasks, but in the direction of the team and the overall operation. Fortunately, the technology exists to support this type of collaborative, worker powered environment.


Smart PPE, sensors and IoT provide the framework in which workers can and will report data that is invaluable to the organization, whether it’s an unsafe situation, a recurring problem that’s hampering productivity, or poor quality leaving the assembly line. Real-time communications technology transforms not merely the worker, but the entire workforce. IoT and Smart PPE are only effective when they’re designed to help achieve several important goals.

For example, we know that the next generation of workers needs to feel comfortable and happy in their environment. They must feel appreciated as a vital member of the team. And they need to believe they have a voice. It’s when these objectives are achieved—above and beyond the implementation of the actual technology—that the worker becomes genuinely connected.

When an organization’s most important asset—the workforce—is engaged via a real-time, continuous loop of communication, individuals become part of a connected framework that powers leaner, higher quality and safer organizations.

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Written by Ted Smith

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Ted Smith is the CEO and President of Corvex.

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