The Pitfalls of Employee Engagement… and How to Avoid Them

It’s no big secret in today’s commercial world that engagement is the key to talent retention and sustainable performance.

Yet there are countless companies out there that take wrong turn after wrong turn when trying to foster a culture of high engagement for themselves. Their intentions may be noble, but a poorly formed engagement strategy can often do more harm than good.

As trusted engagement experts, the team at PACC have worked closely with businesses across all industries and sectors. Employee engagement is our bread and butter, which is why we’re here to talk through the three biggest mistakes that employers make when implementing their own engagement strategy.

Listen up!

Lack of board-level impetus

While most business owners and senior executives would agree that people are their most valuable asset, many still struggle to connect workplace culture and engagement with higher levels of productivity. Without alignment, insights and sustained focus from the top-down, organisations are left to guess what exactly makes their teams tick.

If engagement is viewed as a one-time initiative then it will inevitably fail. Instead, culture must be aligned with core business strategy and become part of the fabric of the company itself. It doesn’t happen overnight, of course, and requires strong and consistent reinforcement. The board must lead by example and show their staff that they are committed to supporting them in any way that they can.

No system of measurement in place

In the past, companies have found it difficult to quantify the various elements that form their working culture. Yet without a system of tracking and measuring every crucial aspect then it’s almost impossible to recognise what exactly is working well… and what isn’t.

Employers must establish key metrics around factors such as staff relationships, access to resources, job security, opportunity for development, management and communication. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, which means action planning sessions must be tailored to fit the nature of operations, size of the business and markers of performance.

Finding time for this level of research and analysis may prove a challenge, particularly for SMEs that don’t have much experience in this area. That’s why many businesses turn to an experienced employee engagement consultant to help drill down into the drivers of success in their business.

Preferring high scores to honest feedback

Whenever we’re conducting an engagement audit, it’s natural that we want to see high scores at the end of it. But while some areas will be undoubtedly better than others, the idea that nothing can be improved or optimised within a business is wishful thinking for any business.

The first step here is to build trust among employees. If they do not fully buy into the vision of the company or they do not fully understand the intentions of the survey then they will not  provide honest feedback. Instead, the impulse to present themselves in a more favourable light will kick in, and they will give manufactured answers that the company ‘wants to hear’.

Looking to create a culture of engagement in your workplace? Give us a quick call on 0161 883 1149 to talk through your needs.