3 Employee Engagement Myths You Need to Know

Employee Engagement Myths might explain why this employee doesn't care about poor performance

Employee Engagement Myths
Unfortunately as the field of engagement grows, employee engagement myths also seem to be on the rise.  Some reports would have you believe that 7 out of 8 American workers are disengaged.  That’s a staggering statistic!  But should we believe it?

We don’t think so.  Those numbers are exaggerated.  Most of the workforce is not disengaged.  Complacent or engaged situation by situation, perhaps.

Employee Engagement Can Always Be Improved
Just as we believe that anyone can improve in almost any field under the right circumstances, we believe employee engagement can always be improved.  And that it matters.  Why?

Because our studies show engaged employees drive:

  • 8% greater productivity
  • 12% higher customer satisfaction
  • 51% less voluntary turnover

Three Employee Engagement Myths You Need to Know
It might help to look at three of the most common employee engagement myths we hear from our clients:

Myth #1 – Employee Perks Make the Difference
Our annual employee engagement surveys tell us that employers cannot “buy” engagement.  There is a sort of “war of the perks” where one company tries to outdo the other in special offers and conveniences for their employees.  From free dry cleaning to on-site fitness centers, these companies seem to believe that perks are what matter to employees.

Instead, we have learned that the value of these employee perks is short-lived.  In fact, employee perks consistently have the lowest correlation to levels of discretionary effort, intent to stay and advocacy.  What matters more is:

  • Fair compensation
  • Meaningful work
  • A positive work environment
  • Effective leadership
  • Opportunities to learn and grow

Myth #2 – Measurement Creates Engagement
By all means, assess your company’s employee engagement but do not fool yourself into thinking that the process of surveying your workforce is all you need to do.  Taking action from the survey results is what will matter ultimately to your employees.  The survey is only the first step in what should become an ongoing effort.

You need to create meaningful action plans for change, continuously reinforce the desired behaviors and monitor progress.  Otherwise you won’t move the needle.

Myth #3 – Employee Satisfaction Equals Employee Engagement
Too many employers believe that the satisfied employee is an engaged employee.  We see a big difference between the two.

  • Employee Satisfaction: A satisfied employee is being treated fairly, has a job they can handle, and feels as though they contribute meaningfully to the enterprise. This is fine as far as employee satisfaction goes.  But you cannot count on a “satisfied” employee going above and beyond.
  • Employee Engagement: Engagement implies an emotional connection.   Engaged employees are excited, energetic and committed to their work in such a way that they give more discretionary effort, intend to stay with the company longer and are strong advocates for the company’s brand promise.

The Bottom Line
Do not fall for employee engagement myths.  Free lunches, social hours and only measuring satisfaction do not create higher levels of employee engagement.

If you want to learn about research-backed ways to improve employee engagement, download The Top 10 Most Powerful Ways To Boost Engagement

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