There are few topics HR directors find themselves faced with more frequently than that of employee engagement, and for good reason. An organization that is staffed with engaged employees can expect a productivity boost of about 20-25%, not to mention higher retention rates that help to stave off the dreaded cycle of onboarding new employees who are only destined to leave. Still, so much gets said about employee engagement that it can actually be difficult to identify what’s true and what’s simply a myth that has gotten out of hand.
Looking to boost productivity and create a more active work environment? Here are five myths about employee engagement you need to ignore.
Myth #1: Employee Engagement Falls Solely on HR
Many HR directors take employee engagement personally to the point of thinking it’s entirely up to them to keep the ship on course. In reality, however, only a portion of this task falls on HR—a good deal of the responsibility should also be addressed by upper management and those in leadership positions. Managers need to be the first in an organization to adopt the changes they’d like to see happen within the company—it may be time for a conversation if you’ve noticed the opposite occurring at your place of work.
Myth #2: Happiness = Engagement
A happy worker is an engaged worker…right? Sometimes, sure, but not always. An employee’s happiness levels may have little to do with how engaged he or she is with their work—it may have nothing to do with work at all. It’s one of the main reasons why HR directors often make mistakes when determining how good an employee actually is at his or her job, and one that should be kept top-of-mind when attempting to boost engagement throughout an organization as a whole.
Myth #3: Employees are Disengaged Because of Pay Grade
If you’ve noticed signs of employee disengagement (such as numerous people leaving), you’ve likely put some degree of thought into why this is occurring. The first thing that may come to mind is pay grade, as money can certainly influence a person’s interest levels in giving something their all. One study, however, found that pay is actually third to work/life balance and advancement as the top reasons why someone might choose to leave their job—it’s not just about the money.
Myth #4: High Turnover is Normal for Your Industry
You may have heard that the rate of turnover you’ve been experiencing is normal for your industry, the size of your business or otherwise—it’s not. Certain factors can definitely influence turnover rates, but if numbers have been high across the board for some time, this should never be viewed as normal. Turnover is best gauged by taking a close look at what’s experienced by direct competitors and others that fall in the same space as your organization. Otherwise, you won’t have a base to work from in understanding where your business stands.
Myth #5: Your Workplace Should Be “Stress-free”
Ideally, high levels of stress should be avoided, but under certain circumstances, some amount of stress can actually be helpful. While an office environment should never intentionally be made stressful, you should also avoid creating a workspace so lax that it causes engagement rates to fall. Sometimes, a little pressure is exactly what it takes to get the job done right.
So don’t just blindly assume that everything you’ve heard about employee engagement is true. Watch out for the myths outlined above, and you can avoid spinning your wheels in the process.