5 Myths about Employee Engagement - dummies

5 Myths about Employee Engagement

By Bob Kelleher

The Greeks and Romans aren’t the only ones with myths. You’ll find plenty in the work world, too. For example, here are some myths about employee engagement:

  • Employee engagement is HR’s role. Most leaders, including many CEOs and CFOs, are highly analytical. They’re more comfortable with hard data than “soft” initiatives like employee engagement. That’s why many of them delegate employee engagement to HR. The problem is, when they do, the result is merely an engagement program, not the cultural transformation that is needed to engage employees.

    Your leaders cast a huge shadow over your organization — you know, that whole “walk the walk” thing. Delegating employee engagement to HR will send a huge message to employees — namely, that employee engagement just isn’t that important!

  • Employee engagement requires a large budget. Although you can certainly spend all kinds of dough on engagement programs, you don’t have to. In fact, some of the best engagement tools are free! Take recognition and respect, which are a huge part of engagement. Simply calling out employees for their accomplishments won’t cost you a dime. Transparent communication, another key engagement driver, is also gratis.

  • Employee engagement isn’t something to be focused on now. When an organization faces economic difficulties, some managers inevitably subscribe to the notion that people are fortunate just to have jobs and dismiss any talk about the importance of engagement. But in times like these, it becomes even more urgent to increase employee engagement, before workers’ frustration with their disengaged colleagues takes a further toll on the workplace.

  • Employee engagement is warm and fuzzy, and there aren’t statistics to back it up. Wrong. There are plenty of statistics to support the idea that the more engaged your workforce is, the better it is for your organization.

  • Employee engagement is a trend. Right. Kind of like the Internet. The truth is, if you run an online search for “employee engagement,” you’ll land over 37 million hits. Does that sound trendy to you? Look at it this way: Leadership never went out of favor, quality seems to have survived, and strategy has stood the test of time; similarly, employee engagement isn’t going away anytime soon.