The top five employee engagement mistakes and how to fix them

Employee engagement is critical to every organisation. As a rule of thumb, the better the employee engagement, the higher the morale and productivity throughout the workforce. But businesses can do better at engaging their workers, says David McCormack, CEO of employee perks and benefits provider HIVE360.

Engaged employees are more productive, loyal, and likely to stay long-term.

This is especially important in the current recruitment climate, with low employee engagement leading to high staff turnover, higher recruitment costs, and disruption to the organisation.

The latest Gallup State of the Global Workforce Report 2023* finds that globally 59% of employees are not engaged, 18% are actively engaged, and just 23% of employees are deemed as thriving at work and engaged – with the UK remaining as one of the least engaged workforces in Europe, ranking 33 out of 38 among countries.

A previous Gallup workplace study** confirmed that prioritising employee engagement does pay dividends, with as much as 17% higher productivity, 20% higher sales, and 21% higher profitability.

Fixing the five common employee engagement mistakes

As the Gallup Report* explains, true engagement means a company’s people are psychologically present to do their work; understand what to do; have what they need; have a supportive manager and team; know why their work matters; and are work ready.

Companies commonly make the same or similar employee engagement mistakes. But by identifying and fixing these, employers can boost employee engagement and retain top-performing staff members.

Top five

Here’s HIVE360’s round-up of the top five employee engagement mistakes, and simple steps to put them right.

Mistake #1: Lack of communication

One of the most significant employee engagement mistakes made by organisations is the lack of communication. Employees want to feel informed about what is happening at the company, and when communication is deficient, employees feel disconnected and unimportant. To fix this, organisations should prioritise communication by introducing and maintaining regularly scheduled meetings, internal newsletters and updates, and open-door policies, with their focus being to keep employees informed.

H2: Mistake #2: Lack of recognition

A lack of recognition of employees’ contributions to the company has a profound impact on engagement levels. When employees feel like their hard work goes unnoticed, they can quickly become disengaged and start looking for a role elsewhere.

Research has found that disengaged employees take more than double the number of sick days when compared to engaged employees, which of course has a direct impact on an organisation’s productivity.

To fix this, organisations should prioritise making regular simple gestures like company-wide acknowledgements of an employee’s hard work, along with offering a range of employee benefits, which can go a long way towards boosting engagement, confidence, and morale.

Some employee benefits to offer are:

  • Individual employee career plans
  • Employee training schemes
  • Employee wellbeing support
  • Employee mental health support
  • Financial wellbeing
  • Discounts and savings that tackle the cost of living.

Mistake #3: Micromanagement

An employees’ manager is often described as the linchpin of engagement, with 70%* of team engagement attributable to the manager.

Micromanagement is a common employee engagement mistake, notably because this management practice makes employees feel like they are constantly being watched and criticised, often feeling a lack of trust and belief in them from bosses and their employer, leading to them becoming disengaged and demotivated. To fix this, organisations should strive and learn to trust their employees to do their jobs – an important starting point is to remember why the individual was hired in the first place. Giving employees autonomy and freedom to make decisions will help them feel valued and trusted. If they make a mistake, that’s ok, too – it’s unrealistic to treat employees as if they will always be perfect, and mistakes are great opportunities for personal development and training if managed well.

Mistake #4: Lack of feedback

Employees want to know how they are doing, how they can develop and improve; if they have something to work towards, they are less likely to become bored within their workplace and begin to look for a new challenge.

To address this, organisations should prioritise giving workers regular feedback – scheduled regular performance reviews and ongoing feedback discussions do help employees feel valued and supported.

Mistake #5: Lack of diversity and inclusion

Fostering a positive workplace that promotes diversity and inclusion is critical to employee engagement, as every staff member deserves to feel supported and included at work. By showing that each employee is vital to the business, a team will thrive and enjoy their work, so there is real value to the business from prioritising diversity and inclusion and having effective hiring practices that prioritise diversity.

Employee benefits

HIVE360 provides its Engage Employee Benefits app as standard to businesses that outsource payroll and employment administration to the company. The app includes My Training, My Health, My Money, My Discounts, and My Work features. The app, which has an average of 100,000-plus user sessions each month and user engagement averaging well over 80 percent, can support employees on their quest to preventing digital overload by providing access to a plethora of wellbeing perks.

HIVE360 ensures full HMRC, RTI, GLAA and IR35 compliance. It provides expert, compliant and reliable PAYE payroll support and comprehensive employment administration. It works with owner-managed, privately owned and SME businesses, permanent and temporary recruiters. For more information:

References & sources:

Sign up to our newsletters

Receive news and guidance on a range of HR issues direct to your inbox

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

*The  annual report represents the collective voice of the global employee: State of the Global Workplace Report – Gallup. Gallup measures employee engagement by asking random samples of the working population about specific workplace elements that link to many organizational outcomes, including profitability, productivity, customer service, retention, safety and overall wellbeing.

**Gallup State of the Global Workplace Report 2022.