5 Common Employee Engagement Mistakes

employee engagement

Whether you have a large or small company, an engaged workforce is essential. Research from Gallup has shown that employee engagement is strongly connected to business outcomes that are essential to an organisation’s financial success, such as productivity, profitability and customer engagement. Engaged employees drive the innovation, growth and revenue that their companies need.


To foster that employee engagement however, you have to create the right work experience. Here are some of the most common mistakes that are made when building employee engagement.

The robots are taking over

You aren’t a faceless human, so why represent the business this way? A human connection is everything. If you are looking to build engagement, anonymous blanket surveys distributed by email won’t help you to achieve this. Fall into this trap and many employees will probably ignore your messages entirely defeating the purpose of the exercise.

If you do want to gather feedback as a way to quantify engagement, think creatively about how this can be achieved. From the method of delivery to the design, there are plenty of ways that your message can effectively reach and engage employees. The key is to make sure that it has personality and a human touch.

Once is never enough

If your approach towards engagement is to host a company event once a year and leave it at that then you are missing a trick here. Building engagement is always ongoing, and you need to work on culture continually. Repetition helps to create a sense of familiarity and that in turn builds engagement.

For example, Google have 20% time. This is where once a week, everyone can work their own personal project. The result is an increase in creativity and often the ideas generated during this time lead to new products being developed for Google thus pushing the innovation that they are known for. A great deal of engagement relates to feeling included and respected. Setting aside time for personal projects promotes ownership and makes employees feel included in the development of the business, which is a perfect way to continually build engagement within the company.

Us and Them

Engagement works both ways. A commonly seen mistake in employee engagement is the separation between management and employees. If you want to ensure that the team is engaged, management need to be visible, present and accountable. You should be working with employees to build a strong, engaged workforce rather than standing separately. This is especially true when working on new initiatives or policies that will impact employees – consult them and gather feedback throughout the process. When rolling out initiatives, taking this approach will also help to smooth out the experience.

One of the problems that companies often encounter is that their workforce is unable to connect with top-down communications. If the message has come direct from management without input from those on the ground, it’s hardly surprising that employees don’t feel emotionally anchored in that messaging or connected to the bigger purpose.

If you want everyone to feel connected, an inclusive culture is essential. A high level of engagement will give you the competitive advantage in the market attracting top candidates.

Money isn’t everything

Grand gestures are great but sometimes it’s the smaller tokens of appreciation that can be most effective when it comes to engagement.

Pay rises might seem like an obvious way to engage your team. However there are other ways to ensure employees feel valued, important and loved. Sometimes just a ‘thank you’ or selection of treats for the team is all it takes for people to feel that they’re making a genuine contribution to the business on an everyday basis rather than just being a cog in the wheel.

You should avoid falling into the trap of normalising outstanding work. It is outstanding because it is extra special and that deserves extra attention. Recognise and reward such special achievements accordingly – whether that is with company announcements, a reward scheme or any other way you decide.

Keeping it to yourself

The feeling of being included is a key part of engagement and as a company. If you’re not sharing news, whether good or bad, then it makes it very difficult for employees to have that emotional connection which drives engagement.

Look at ways in which you as a company can build transparency in a way that will create trust. Encourage the sharing of ideas and this will boost innovation and creativity which in turn inspires. Feedback should also be encouraged from everyone, whether good or bad. Criticism is tough, but it is important for improvement and that can only be a good thing for the business.

They key to successfully engaging employees largely boils down to one key factor – emotional connection. Trust, feeling valued and appreciated and involved all feed into this. The key to communicating this lies in how it is delivered, which is where we step in. Global are experienced in delivering strategic creative solutions that effectively deliver results.

Whether you need a one-off project or long-term strategies, call us on 01202 727070 or send us an email to discuss your requirements. You can also check out our blog about our own internal branding project or find further details about our internal communication services.