5 Employee Engagement Myths

Are You Mything Out on Employee Engagement?

Employee engagement has been capturing the attention of organizations because of the potential benefits ranging from better financial results to employee well-being. Here are 5 myths or mistakes that many organizations make with their employee engagement work.

Engagement measures must be anonymous.  Engagement requires a name and a face not an anonymous survey. I engage when I know others see me and they are thinking about me.  Disengagement should not be a punishable offence; rather it should be the trigger for a conversation.  I believe we rely far too much on anonymous surveys for engagement data which means that we have organizations where it is not safe to talk about how all employees are experiencing their  work. If that is the case, we don’t have an engagement issue; we have a safety and conversational challenge.

Engagement is about them. Far too often I see employees referred to by managers as “them” and employees refer to leaders as them. We must realize that “them is us.” CEO’s and presidents are employees who may struggle with their own engagement and we will be sowing the seeds of connection or engagement challenges when we believe we are apart from the organization not a part of the organization.

Engagement is the organization’s method to just get more work out of people. Employees need to both know and experience the benefits of engagement. Engagement can increase well-being, create a positive model for our children, enrich the hours of our working days, help us make a difference, create a richer experience for our customers, energize our working day, etc. Engagement is not a problem to be solved it is an experience to be lived.

There is a way to engagement. Engagement is not something extra it is how we work and connect in this decade. Engagement is so much more than a happy dance pasted on YouTube or a half-day recognition and engagement program. Leaders and managers must stop seeing engagement as another item on an endless to-do list and start to integrate engagement ways to build relationships and achieve results through invitation, conversation, connection, co-creation, and community. There is no way to engagement, engagement is the way.

Engagement is something we do to you or for you. There is a wonderful principle from the field of positive deviancy that states: “never do anything about me, without me.” Engagement is not something we do to others it is how we connect and interact with all employees. Ensure employees don’t just answer survey questions – invite employee to have the opportunity to create the survey questions. Cease the endless time delay between surveys and results and bring all employees into the full process. I am often asked by people around the globe, “how do we get everyone on the same page for employee engagement?” My first response is to answer that question with another question: “did all employees have an opportunity to write on that page?”

Don’t myth out on the potential benefits of an engaging organization that fosters high levels of employee engagement through visibility, unity, experience, integration, and invitation.

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David Zinger, M.Ed., helps organizations and individuals increase employee engagement.  He is a writer, educator, speaker, and consultant. David founded the 3100 member Employee Engagement Network and he also wrote Zengage: How to Get More Into Your Work to Get More Out of Your Work.  He is committed to increasing employee engagement 20% by 2020. Contact David today to improve engagement where you work (Email: [email protected]  / Phone 204 254 2130  /  Website: www.davidzinger.com).

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