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Posted by Michael Winter on 02/25/2020

Damaging then rebuilding employee engagement

Damaging  then rebuilding employee engagement

It’s clear that consistently low employee engagement figures occur in good and bad economic times. It's also clear that engagement hinges on the way leaders lead and the kind of culture they create.

Here are 5 mistakes leaders make that may damage employee engagement and how they this can be turned around.

1. Leaders assume company perks will make a difference.

Offering free coffee, half-day summer Fridays and other creature comforts may deliver short-term positive vibes from overworked employees. But if you aren’t also addressing the core problems in your culture — like a lack of acknowledgement for work well done, managers who can’t be trusted or limited opportunities for development — no amount of free snacks will solve your employee engagement problems.

2. Leaders talk, but they don’t listen.

Employees don’t need to be told what to do. They need to be encouraged to trust their instincts. Engagement levels rise as employees gain confidence in their ideas and became more innovative and invested in their work.

3. Leaders think employees should serve the business, not the other way around.

When business leaders make financial performance the most important factor in every decision, employees become slaves to business outcomes.

When leaders prioritise improving the lives of employees, improved employee engagement is the natural result. That leads to better performance, higher revenues and other business benefits that every leader wants.

When the company exists to serve the employees, it creates a stronger company and a better future for everyone.

4.Leaders focus on numbers, not outcomes.

When leaders only care about achieving the right employee engagement score, they lose focus on the ultimate goal.

That makes employees cynical about their motives and can cause any short-term improvements to quickly sag.

Instead, use employee engagement surveys to identify the biggest problem(s) in your culture, then to spend the time solving it.

Once you see improvements, move on to the next thing. When leaders focus on outcomes rather than metrics, continuous improvement becomes part of the way things are done.

5. They mistake surveys for conversations.

If you want engagement to improve, leaders have to actually talk to employees, listen to their needs and build a corporate culture that inspires trust and respect. You can’t do that with a survey. Once you wade in and start having conversations, you’ll be amazed at what you learn.

What do you think??

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