Last week we posed a question: why do organizations struggle improving employee engagement after spending so much time and energy measuring it? The feedback provided by various leaders was very insightful.

Here are some thoughts gathered based on your feedback along with some research conducted:

  • Employee engagement is such a broad and complex topic, it is like culture. And as we know, culture change is hard and often done without proper planning, resources and expectations. One leader said they try to make some small changes when they get their survey results back, but when the culture is the problem, the small changes do not have the impact they are looking for.
  • Conducting a survey does not equal improvement. Surveys are a snapshot in time and create a baseline but they do not inherently improve results. In fact, a survey that is conducted with little to no effective improvement effort behind it could actually reduce engagement. How could this be so? When employees are asked about their happiness with company culture, policies and their boss and coworkers, their expectations are likely heightened that something will be done to improve their concerns. When little to no action is taken, they become more disengaged than if they had never been asked in the first place.
  • One leader said that organizations often misdiagnose their engagement issues. He said he saw one organization try to implement a new award and recognition program, but the employees rolled their eyes and did not really engage with the program. Why? Well, the employees did not trust leadership and questioned the direction of the company. So when you try to jam a round peg into a square hole, you raise the frustration level and can make things worse.

Let’s keep the dialog going! Please post your insights and thoughts. Why do organizations struggle so much with employee engagement? We will continue the conversation next week and we look forward to your comments.

One Comment

  1. Prohance

    There is no doubt that employee engagement is a complex issue, it is multi-dimensional in nature. We agree with your point that when companies conduct surveys and do not act on the sentiment of the employees, the employee engagement takes a hit. We feel that this issue should be addressed with a different approach, something like giving power to the employees themselves to make small changes in order to increase the engagement.

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