Side Step These Landmines By Recognizing and Changing Them
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
After working with companies over the years, we’ve found employee engagement blunders that pop up time and again. Are you making any of these mistakes that undermine employee engagement?
- Lack of Communication: This is the foundation of Employee Engagement 101. If your employees’ efforts aren’t acknowledged, if they’re not receiving feedback, they’re basically adrift in the corporate sea. Talk to them. Engage in meaningful dialogue. Communicate company goals and how their work is essential to reaching those goals.
- Lack of Good Leadership: This can sway to either end of the spectrum – from micromanagement to leaving employees with no real sense of direction. When upper managers micromanage their teams, they’re telling their teams that their work isn’t valid or trustworthy. See-saw to a manager that fails to lead, guide, set clear expectations, and problem solve, and you leave employees insecure and unmotivated.
- The Company BBQ: Short-term perks, though fun, can feel empty if that’s all the company is doing to boost engagement. Engagement issues are usually ingrained in a flaw in the company culture, problems with leadership and/or management. Temporary fixes do little more than put a bandage on a deeper wound.
- Lack of Transparency: Unfulfilled promises, hiding the bad, not giving all the information – all of these create a culture of mistrust and insecurity. Transparent managers must communicate company goals with their team – long-term, mid-term, and short-term. Moreover, they must lay out the work-profit connection, how each position in the company plays a part. Transparency also means not hiding the bad – bad feedback, a failed product launch. All of these things should be shared, and discussed, with employees.
- Not Measuring Engagement (or measuring it incorrectly): We cannot assume our employees are engaged in their work. Employee engagement surveys, 360 degree feedback, pulse surveys are just a few tools to gauge employee engagement problems. Moreover, a survey must be benchmarked, meaning it solicits information that is specific, relevant and actionable.
- The Survey is Not an Engagement Plan: An employee engagement survey is used to collect data. After conducting a survey, an organization needs to work hard to come up with an engagement strategy addressing the feedback received through the survey. It’s critical that the action plan developed is communicated to employees after the survey is conducted. This is a way for the organization to say, “Your feedback matters, and this is what we are going to do about it.”
- Not Making Engagement a Priority: This is one of the biggest mistakes any organization can make. Employee engagement is directly related to the success of an organization, effecting its bottom line. Every organization should have an employee engagement strategy included in the company handbook and its business plan. An engagement strategy is not about “happy” employees. “Employee engagement is the extent to which employees feel passionate about their jobs, are committed to the organization, and put discretionary effort into their work.” Read more about CustomInsight's definition of employee engagement here
It’s a long road to engagement, but by avoiding these pitfalls, your organization will see the results in employee retention, attracting new employees and its bottom line.
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