The 4 Biggest Employee Engagement Mistakes You Can Easily Avoid

Jun 27,2014
Employee Engagement Mistakes

Employee engagement is the degree to which employees are committed to an organization’s vision and goals. Employees who are engaged in their work strive to further the organization’s well-being and success, as opposed to putting in hours just to earn a paycheck. However, a satisfied employee is not necessarily one with high levels of engagement. A person can put in the minimum amount of work and be satisfied without being fully engaged.

Employee engagement is critical to an organization’s success because fully engaged employees go the extra mile, leading to higher productivity and greater profits. Engaged employees are committed to the organization and genuinely want the best for the company. They are also more likely to stay with the company for a long time, which saves the time and resources needed to find qualified replacements.

Along these lines, some of the biggest mistakes companies make with employee engagement can easily be avoided.

1. Thinking Employee Engagement Happens on it own

Engagement rarely happens on its own. Organizations that foster the right conditions for engagement are in a great position. Here are some ways you can make engagement a top priority:

  • Include employee engagement in the business plan and company handbook.
  • Set up a framework for leadership to communicate the vision and goals to all workers.
  • Regularly ask employees what you can do to enhance their experience and what suggestions they have for the organization.
  • Recognize employees’ contributions.
  • Empower employees at all levels.
  • Make engagement company-wide, not some task farmed off to human resources.
  • Include employees in the process of developing engagement surveys.
  • Encourage employees to question.

2. Lack of Employee Feedback

A company can’t know how engaged its employees are (or how much improvement is needed) if it doesn’t ask. Companies can bring in an outside organization to measure engagement or do it themselves through a survey or a similar method.

  • An employee attitude survey can be conducted at least once a year. This gives management the chance to study important areas such as compensation, attendance, and employee satisfaction to get an idea of engagement. It helps answer the questions of what is being done right and what needs to improve.
  • An employee engagement index uses a numerical scale to tally responses to questions such as: “What is your satisfaction with the organization at this time?” and “Would you recommend this organization as a top place to work?”

Some organizations mix and match methods; for example, doing a formal survey, analyzing the results, implementing a plan and then, a few months later, polling employees in an informal follow-up.

3. Inaccurately Measuring Employee Engagement

Trying to evaluate engagement is unproductive if the survey or method is so vague and weak as to be meaningless.  The methodology used to measure engagement should elicit data that is precise, unambiguous, pertinent, and actionable across all levels.

4. Inadequate Professional Development Opportunities 

A well-rounded employee is more likely to be engaged and stimulated. Give employees practical, hands-on experience in every area possible of the organization. They’ll get a better idea of how the company functions, and a fresh set of eyes will be checking processes and offering new ideas. The stimulation will keep employees’ brains engaged and clicking.

Employee engagement takes effort and commitment, but taking simple steps to avoid these common mistakes will have a big impact on your organization.

By Knowledge Services | Jun 27,2014

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