In the past year, employee engagement has been a hot topic: how to encourage employees, how to measure it, and why it's important. Not so much has been mentioned about what not to do. How do you avoid decreasing employee engagement? I did some research on common employee engagement blunders and pulled them together for you. Ad you implement your employee engagement action plan, make sure that it doesn't include any of the below!
6 Employee Engagement Mistakes to Avoid
1. Not having an employee engagement action plan. The first and foremost thing that you should do is create an action plan for employee engagement to make sure that you are working on it consistently. If you only come in one week and say "we're going to be more engaged" and don't do anything about it, your employees will know. Create a planning committee if needed to get the ideas started, you'd be surprised what buying a dozen donuts and some coffee can do to engagement. Start small, but have an action plan with deliverables.
2. Forcing your employees to be happy and engaged. I am most recently reminded of a Superstore episode where the store manager tries to perk up his employees dressed as a clown, a mime, and a musical man. You can't force your employees to be happy. All you can do is create a positive workplace environment with the right work life balance for your employees. With the right environment, the right employees should thrive.
3. Make employees take endless surveys on how they feel about work. Obviously, you need to measure their engagement and how they feel about work, but filling out neverending surveys won't increase engagement. You should survey your employees yearly, according to HR Zone.
"For most companies, conducting their survey annually is probably just about right: This normally provides adequate time since your previous survey to communicate and act on the feedback. It allows you to benchmark progress and evaluate if your change initiatives have been effective against a backdrop of a changing economy and labor market, an annual survey can help you understand and better predict your staff turnover risks. If leaders and managers know that their team members will be invited to provide feedback in twelve months’ time, they are more likely to take responsibility of what they can influence and make positive changes."
4. Criticizing performance. Choose your language carefully during performance conversations. Approach the conversation with the attitude of solving a problem together rather than casting blame. According to the The Globe and Mail, "the opportunity to correct the issue diminishes when leaders are incapable of engaging in a conversation that gets to the heart of the problem. Their line of questioning can exacerbate the situation, such as: 'Why did you do it this way?' instead of 'tell me more about your process.' Defaulting to 'why' implies judgment."
5. Constantly switching your initiatives. Switching around priorities leads to confusion, which obviously leads to a lack of productivity and engagement. According to The Globe and Mail, "However, all too often leaders change direction on a whim, causing havoc for employees and clients alike."
How did you plan to execute on your initiatives? How do you assign your initiatives? In Rhythm, I can see clearly how projects I work on affect our annual initiatives.
6. Poor Communication. I have heard this one, experienced this one, and seen it in action. Poor communication is crippling to an organization. There is an "average loss per company of $62.4 million per year because of inadequate communication to and between employees," according to the Society for Human Resource Management.
Hopefully, you can look out for these blunders and face them before they hit you!
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Photo Credit: iStock by Getty Images