Employee Engagement? Here Are 20 Potential Workplace Problems

Employee Engagement is one of those topics that ALWAYS gets people to sit up and pay attention.

But, engagement is also a controversial topic, mainly because it is hard to define and even harder to tie to business metrics and a quantifiable return on investment.

That’s why Dr. John Sullivan’s insights into the subject today at TLNT’s sister website ERE.net is worth digging into. His article on What’s Wrong With Employee Engagement? The Top 20 Potential Problems, digs into many of the questions and issues surrounding engagement that we highlight here at TLNT.

He writes:

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Employee engagement is at or near the top of most surveys that cover the concerns of HR leaders. Almost everyone is enthusiastic about the concept and their program. However, there is far too little focus on the problems or issues related to engagement. … The process of gathering engagement data and the interpretation of it both improve dramatically when program managers and users are fully aware of all of its potential problems.”

Some of the employee engagement issues Dr. John gets into include:

  • That “engagement may be a byproduct, not a cause;” 
  • Engagement is not productivity or an output;
  • Outside factors may influence engagement;
  • Diverse employees and different generations are engaged by different things;
  • Managers and employees don’t understand engagement; and,
  • The goals and metrics of engagement programs are often limited.

Dr. John Sullivan always offers great insight into any HR or talent management topic. That’s doubly true when he gets into a controversial one like employee engagement. Take a look at his post today on ERE and you’ll see what I mean.

For more on What’s Wrong With Employee Engagement? The Top 20 Potential Problems, click here.

John Hollon is Editor-at-Large at ERE Media and was the founding Editor of TLNT.com. A longtime newspaper, magazine, and business journal editor, John has deep roots in the talent management space. He's the former Editor of Workforce Management magazine and workforce.com, served as Editor of RecruitingDaily, and was Vice President for Content at HR technology firm Checkster. An award-winning journalist, John has written extensively about HR, talent management, leadership, and smart business practices, including for the popular Fistful of Talent blog. Contact him at johnhollon@ere.net, connect with him on LinkedIn, or follow him on Twitter @johnhollon.


2 Comments on “Employee Engagement? Here Are 20 Potential Workplace Problems

  1. Dr. Sullivan is spot on with a number of the problems he’s identified.  The bottom line is; organizations are trying to manufacture engagement instead of figuring out what each employee’s mind and heart are naturally engaged by.  Sadly, I believe the vast majority of organizations are afraid to ask, because they fear that it’s not related to the business they’re in.. 

  2. Yes, employees engagement is a symptom not a problem. I believe that to find the problems we have to dig deeper in the Gallup Q12. What the questions are looking to discover is the possible problems indicators.

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