The Good, The Bad, And The Boring Of L&D: 6 Employee Engagement Mistakes That Every Company Should Avoid

The Good, The Bad, And The Boring: 6 Employee Engagement Mistakes That Every Company Should Avoid
Drazen Zigic/
Summary: Here are the most common employee engagement mistakes that can cost your organization top talent and tips to avoid them in the future.

The Employee Engagement Mistakes That Companies Keep Making

Employee engagement mistakes can be detrimental to performance, motivation, and satisfaction in the workplace, as it's crucial to cultivating company culture and boosting morale. Companies nowadays are trying to come up with new, creative ways to engage their staff but they don't always get it right. Here's a list of the most common mistakes that organizations make when crafting their employee engagement strategies.

The Not-To-Do List: 6 Most Common Employee Engagement Mistakes

1. Ignoring Generational Differences

Ignoring the generational gap results in disengaged, unhappy employees. It is essential to customize engagement strategies based on generational characteristics. An employee in their early twenties and an employee close to retirement would respond differently to the same engagement strategy. If your staff feels like their intelligence or their background and experience are being undermined or undervalued by adolescent activities, any sort of engagement with the company can be hindered. Providing alternative engagement solutions intended for different demographics personalizes the initiative and, ultimately, brings higher engagement rates among your workforce.

2. Micromanaging

Interfering with their work, demanding last-minute changes, and becoming an obstacle in your employee's decision-making process can greatly damage your staff's sense of duty. By cultivating a work environment focused on excessive micromanagement, you could stifle morale and productivity at an alarming rate. Your leadership style may cause self-doubt in your team; that is the last thing you need when you want your employees to be engaged. Even if you have constructed an excellent strategy that is certain to boost engagement among your staff, your micromanaging leadership style might have the exact opposite impact: distant and disinterested employees. Instead, try to recognize their value and how their work is an asset to your team by addressing and reconsidering your management style. Trust their judgment and skillset to bring their projects to life. Lastly, make sure to show appreciation on an individual level instead of offering generalized bravos to the entire department.

3. Ignoring The Real Issue

What is the real cause behind your disengaged employees? Is your strategy not suitable for the specific people of your company? Is your staff unsatisfied because of a greater issue that causes them to purposely abstain from engaging? Ignoring or not understanding the core issue behind your disengaged employees will only make things worse. Company culture will certainly suffer as a result. Do your research and find out what really troubles your workers. Are they in need of something you haven't fully provided? Is there room for improvement on an organizational level? If you offer the bare minimum, you should expect to get the bare minimum in return. Satisfied staff is a long-term investment; don't expect to reap the benefits of their engagement if you haven't sown the appropriate seeds or readied the soil.

4. Taking A Generic Approach

Every member of your staff needs different incentives to participate in your morale-building exercises and engagement strategies. Avoid generic engagement activities that seem forced within a corporate environment. Every employee has different standards when it comes to participating in non-work professional initiatives. However, making engagement mandatory misses the point. Allow your workers to connect and engage with your organization at their own pace. And remember, employee engagement rates are never set in stone; the level of engagement may rise or fall depending on a number of external factors.

5. Not Accepting Feedback

Feedback is a two-way street. If you expect your employees to accept feedback and utilize it to improve themselves and their work, then you should do the same. Collecting testimonials on previously employed engagement strategies will demonstrate exactly where you need to improve and what you got right. You can create a database that includes different initiatives that have been put into action and how the staff members responded to each of them. Construct a questionnaire or a survey, interview your employees, and ask them how you can do better to enhance their sense of belonging within the company.

6. Neglecting Your Company Culture

Companies that build their foundations on a unique culture understand the importance of cultivating a space where people can succeed. Establishing clear culture patterns in the workplace creates positive habits that reflect the behaviors you want to see from your employees. Whereas companies that ignore the aspect of culture, along with its importance, tend to disregard the fact that their staff is obviously disengaged and disinterested in interacting with company matters that don't directly pertain to their work. In addition, organizations with cultures that focus on internal rather than external competition promote individualist behaviors that seldom favor good metrics in employee engagement.


Being aware of common employee engagement mistakes is crucial for your company. The success of your organization depends on good preparation and efficient planning. Utilizing research tools and one-on-one time with your staff can help you avoid the gravest of mistakes when crafting your employee engagement strategy. Moreover, make sure that you account for differences in perspectives or demographics and take into consideration any feedback you may have received and how you can utilize it. Discover the root of why your employees may be disengaged from your company. Avoid generic training approaches and try to take this initiative one step further by finding the right fit for your employees. And lastly, never forget the culture your organization is built on—your people are your best investments.

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