Why Companies Neglect Employee Engagement

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Employee engagement has become a growing concern among companies because they realize its effect on the bottom line. However, while there are many companies focusing on the issue, many other companies are not.

Studies have shown that only about one-fourth of all employees are really engaged by their work. This lack of engagement affects productivity and turnover as well. So, why aren’t companies doing more about engagement? There are basically three main reasons.

1. No resources
Companies simply do not want to spend the money to develop programs that are geared toward employee growth and development. What makes this fact even more troubling is that businesses feel this way even after the economy has recovered from the last recession.

Many attribute this attitude to the short-term thinking that dominates at many companies, the emphasis on next quarter’s profits, rather than on more long-term investments like employee training and engagement.

2. Money is the solution.
Many companies believe they can solve employee morale problems simply by paying workers more money. But studies have shown that there is a point at which money no longer affects morale, and that limit is around $75,000 a year. Other studies have shown that money works much better as a motivator on short-term projects, but not so well for supporting long-term productivity.

There are other factors as well that blunt the influence of money, such as company culture. If, for example, an employee believes the company is moving in the wrong direction, paying him more will not alleviate his concerns, nor its effect on his morale.

3. Poor leadership
Many managers simply lack the leadership skills needed to implement strategies to improve employee morale. They manage in a top-down way, issuing commands and motivating through punishment. They resort to these methods because they simply do not have the training or experience to do otherwise.

So, if employee engagement is to improve, these three roadblocks need to be addressed. As the competition for talent continues to heat up, companies will have to pay more attention to these issues, or they will find themselves falling behind their more enlightened competitors.

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