Can You Improve Employee Engagement With An IOU?

IOUs in a jar

What you may ask, does an IOU have to do with employee engagement? Let me explain with an example.

Most industries have been very concerned about employee engagement and its impact on customer satisfaction. It is not unusual for employers to spend a substantial amount of time and effort to measure employee satisfaction or engagement. Once this is accomplished, efforts can be made to improve or sustain this level of satisfaction or engagement. As with other management efforts, to improve levels of performance the preferred method is the development an action plan.

In the example let’s assume the manager’s reporting department scores for satisfaction or engagement was relatively low. A typical action plan would include establishing communications regarding the causes and agreeing on intended changes to improve or remove these causes. Apparently the e-mail below was an effort to improve one department’s interactions with their manager. Does it resemble an IOU?



From:              The Boss

To:                   Direct Reports

Sent:               Early Spring

Subject:          Summer Evening Out


I hope you will be available for an evening out for dinner and drinks later this summer.

I will send some potential dates to everyone to confirm availability.


The Boss




While the rest of the company was meeting, communicating issues, and developing plans to understand and improve, one was left waiting. Left waiting for a promised dinner and drinks which would hopefully improve the department’s engagement with this manager. As the summer came to a close and stories of how other departments were working toward fuller engagement with their managers, how do you think they felt? It would be fair to assume worse than before.

Interestingly, things can in fact become worse. Yes, as the IOU memo is placed in a file folder, it is added to several other yet to be redeemed IOUs. I’m sure the unredeemed promise came to mind immediately. Maybe the subtitle of this post should be, “Talk is Cheap”.

“Because children  have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.”


G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

Girl On Zip Line

“Courage ia a special kind of knowledge: the knowledge of how to fear what ought to be feared and not how not to fear what ought not to be feared.”

– David Ben-Gurion

ASHE Award Recipiants

July 13, 2015
Contact: Deanna Martin
ASHE celebrates award recipients at Annual Conference

CHICAGO – The American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) of the American Hospital Association is recognizing outstanding members for their dedication to improving the health care physical environment. ASHE presented the awards during its 52nd Annual Conference and Technical Exhibition July 12-15 in Boston.
The Crystal Eagle award, considered ASHE’s “lifetime achievement” award, was presented to Michael Kuechenmeister, FASHE, CHFM, CHC, director of plant operations at West Chester Hospital in West Chester, Ohio. Kuechenmeister has contributed to the field through his work in health care safety, advocacy, and energy efficiency. He became a nationally recognized leader in helping several southern hospitals stay open during Hurricane Katrina.
The President’s Award, which is presented at the discretion of the sitting ASHE president to an individual who goes above and beyond to optimize the health care physical environment, was presented to Walt Vernon, CEO of the national consulting and engineering firm Mazzetti.


ASHE also recognized members who attained senior (SASHE) and fellow (FASHE) status within ASHE. The SASHE designation is bestowed on those who have been ASHE members in good standing for at least five years and have supported ASHE in terms of education and leadership. The following members are new SASHE recipients:
Donna Craft, RN, MHA, SASHE, Premier, Inc., Huntersville, NC
David Dierking, MBA, CHFM, SASHE, Edward Hospital, Naperville, IL
Ralph Graham Jr., CHFM, SASHE, University of Alabama, Birmingham, AL
Gary Hamilton, PE, LEED-AP, SASHE, SmithGroupJJR, Washington, D.C.
Eric Herrera, CHFM, SASHE, Memorial Hermann Hospital, Katy, TX
John Holderman II, CHFM, CHC, SASHE, St. John Health System, Tulsa, OK
Sean Mulholland, PE, CHFM, CHC, SASHE, Penrose/St. Francis Health Services, Colorado Springs, CO
Hank Schuurman, CHC, SASHE, Christian Health Care Center, Wyckoff, NJ
Dana Swenson, PE, MBA, SASHE, UMass Memorial Health Care System, Worcester, MA


Hank Schuurman - SASHE