Mistake #8: Attempting to create employee engagement based solely on money

I once worked at small start-up company during the dot-com heyday whose basic implicit recruiting pitch was, “Join us! You’ll make a lot of money when we go public!” And join employees did, and make a lot of money they did, as well. That is, until the stock dropped and all the money they made went away and the employees soon followed suit.

The CEO began complaining to his executive team about the lack of cars in the parking lot before 9:00 a.m. or after 5:00 p.m. He also felt the low energy in the office and the lack of excitement within the company. He was concerned that people had become disengaged from the company and no longer cared about the product. 

He was, of course, absolutely right. Employees weren’t engaged and they did no longer care. The job had become just that: a job. No more, no less. Very few people were putting in the discretionary effort that is so prized by companies and which can truly make or break an organization. 

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Mistake #7: Failing to understand the importance of employee engagement

Once an employee has agreed to join a company, they will have expectations about what it’s like to work in that company. These expectations will be based on your external brand promise, as well as the implicit and explicit promises made to the employee during their interview process.

You must work hard to meet those expectations in order to retain that employee. According to TalentKeepers, Inc, “59% of all attrition is occurring in the first year of employment and begins declining only after the 1-2 year period.” That is not an HR issue.  This is a serious business issue. And a costly one, at that.

There has been a lot of discussion in recent years about “employee engagement”. In 2006, The Conference Board published “Employee Engagement, A Review of Current Research and Its Implications”. In that publication, they defined employee engagement as “a heightened emotional connection that an employee feels for his or her organization, that influences him or her to exert greater discretionary effort to his or her work”.

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