Employee Engagement Myths Debunked

Engagement and retention are huge topics right now in HR, and leadership in general. High turnover numbers and epidemically low employee engagement numbers are costing companies in a big way. For a while, employers were running their organization’s engagement and retention efforts based on some ideas that we now know aren’t effective.

Employee engagement specialists at Michael C. Fina took the time to define some common myths that far too many leaders are still putting stock into. Employee engagement is being redefined, and it’s vital that leaders keep up with this new knowledge about what motivates the discretionary effort of their employees. This is the new reality of employee engagement…

1) Intangible rewards trump cold hard cash.

For a very long time, corporate America believed that cash was king when it came to engaging and retaining their employees. Not so! The following intangible rewards carry more weight with employees:

  • Career Opportunities
  • Performance Management
  • Organization Reputation
  • Recognition
  • Communication

2) Recognition programs DO work.

HR and recruiting love their metrics, after all the proof is always in the numbers.

Companies with high performing recognition programs are 12x more likely to have strong business outcomes.

3) High performers aren’t self-motivators that we can forget about.

While high performers have been known to be great at self-motivating, they still have to be part of motivation and engagement efforts. Organizations have kind of had aset it and forget itattitude when it comes to their key performers, and it has lead to some surprising numbers.

Low performers are actually more engaged than high and middle performers in 42% of organizations.

4) Managers aren’t engagement experts; they need help!

Why is it such a common misconception that the second someone becomes a manager –POOF! –they are now well-versed experts in the field of employee engagement. At the most basic level, they have to be equipped with a way to gauge employee engagement, and then given the tools and training to improve it.

26% of managers felt they were unprepared to transition into management roles.

58% of managers do not receive any training.

5) Millennials got a bad rap.

All of the misguided assumptions about Millennials are causing the misdirection of their leadership. Here are the top three things that are important to Millennials in their workplace that most would be surprised by.

“Working for a manager that I can respect and learn from.”

“Working with people that I enjoy.”

“Having a work/life balance.”

When you make investments in HR and recruiting, you obviously want to see those investments pay off. Knowing what motivates your workforce grants you the power to be able to give it to them. This knowledge can help build your employer brand, and be used as a powerful talent attraction tool.

Top 5 myths of Employee Engagement #infographic (top one being that cash is king)

Views: 1038

Comment by Anna Brekka on May 12, 2014 at 2:01pm

Thank you for the post - the following hit me as true:

26% of managers felt they were unprepared to transition into management roles

58% of managers do not receive any training 

In my opinion one of the main reasons people leave - poorly trained/behaved managers.

Comment by Kelly Blokdijk on May 12, 2014 at 7:30pm

I agree with these concepts and they match up with my personal workplace experiences. The main issue I have with this (like so many other reports of its kind) is that I wish everyone would stop segregating and describing people based on a 18-20 year span of time of when they were born.

Oh, and glad you provided the text portion as I have no desire to look at infographics. 


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