Employee Engagement Myths: Debunked
It’s time to debunk some employee engagement myths!
Keep reading to get to the bottom of 7 popular misconceptions about employee engagement. And check out our other debunked blog posts that delve into common myths about digital transformation and Intranets.
“Employee engagement just isn’t that important.”
Let’s just get this myth out of the way early. Employee engagement IS important. And there are plenty of statistics to prove it. Like this one from Temkin Group, which states that 91% of highly engaged employees always or almost always try their hardest at work, compared with 67% of disengaged employees. And this one from the Workplace Research Foundation which says that employee engagement programs can increase profits by $2,400 per employee per year. It is critical that businesses take the state of their employee engagement seriously and implement a strategy to increase and maintain it.
“Employee engagement is solely one person’s responsibility.”
It is always assumed that the task of increasing employee engagement is the responsibility of a sole department or person. The fingers usually point to HR, or the managers within the organization. The truth is, employee engagement isn’t the responsibility of one individual and shouldn’t only fall on the shoulders of on department. It should be a group effort. Yes leadership plays a huge role, and ultimately has the power to make big decisions. But everyone, especially your employees, should be involved. It’s always better to have multiple perspectives to gain a greater understanding of the situation. And employees are sometimes closer to the problem. They know what they want and what they need. Listen to their ideas, and chances are you’ll get invaluable suggestions.
“Employees don’t want information about or from their company.”
Actually, the exact opposite is true. Employees value communication and transparency, and want to feel connected and informed. But because of this misconception, 74% of employees are disconnected and feel that they’re missing out on company information and news (Gallup). Give your workers what they want, and communicate often. If employees feel connected to your organization, they are more likely to be engaged in their work.
But wait, that doesn’t mean employees want to be flooded with alerts and messages, especially if the information is not relevant to them. General company news is great, but be sure to also make communications relevant and personal. And remember, this isn’t an invitation to message employees outside of work. As it is, people are working longer hours and answering emails from home. Do your best to keep them informed without infringing on their ability to have time away from work. One more thing! Don’t forget about your remote workers. Research has shown that remote workers miss out on the “knowledge-sharing” that happens in the office.
“Employees only care about money.”
Of course employees care about money. Pay is a huge determining factor for many people when choosing a job. But it isn’t all about money. Employees also value other things, like opportunities for career advancement, reputation and recognition, chances for self development, and educational opportunities. Here’s what Foundry Magazine had to say on the subject: “80% of employees want workplace rewards outside of money, according to a study from foundry Magazine. Of that 80%, half want workplace rewards in terms of more educational opportunities, rewarding and challenging projects, and a sense that they can further their knowledge and career path as a result of working with a specific company or in a certain role. And the other 40% half want to feel emotionally connected to the mission and service of the organization and to the customers they serve.” Reward your employees in a variety of meaningful ways in order to show them their value and increase engagement.
“Employee recognition programs cost too much money and don’t even help at all.”
Like we just mentioned above, employees appreciate recognition. But most organizations see employee recognition programs as a waste of money and a waste of time. Which couldn’t be further from the truth. Companies with well-maintained recognition programs are 12x more likely to have positive and strong business outcomes (Globoforce). And according to Gallup, “recognition is an important psychological need. Employees who know that they will receive recognition for acting on the brand promise will have a strong incentive to do so.” Bottom line: employee recognition programs are an inexpensive measure that increase engagement and productivity and provide a big return on investment.
“There is only one possible solution for low employee engagement rates.”
Every employee is different, and each person values different things. Just like every organization is different and has it’s own unique company culture. So what works at one company may not work as well at another. Know the values and motivations of your employees and of the company. That knowledge will help you create a positive environment for your workers that also aligns with the company’s vision. It’s a win-win for everyone.
“Employee engagement only needs to be assessed once a year.”
While we do recommend doing a yearly re-evaluation of your employee engagement strategy, it is also imperative to check even more frequently than that. Tiny pulse recommends checking in with your employees weekly. Why? Because things change on a more regular basis than once a year. Checking in every week allows you to face challenges and concerns as they happen. Plus, your workers appreciate immediate responses to problems and concerns, with 71% of employees preferring to get feedback as soon as possible according to Globoforce.