Most Companies Have it Backwards When it Comes to Employee Engagement

Are you spending the majority of your time engaging your least productive employees? Learn how to engage your highest performers instead.

Perfecting Employee Engagement is the Key to Recruitment and HR Success

Managers spend the majority of their time engaging their least productive employees – recent research suggests that this is ineffective. Here are some ways to engage your highest performers.

I suspect this fact isn’t a revelation to most HR professionals – we spend the majority of our time managing and motivating those who aren’t necessarily the hot shot performers. Realistically – it’s not that the rest of the workforce population are ‘ignored’. But the time and effort spent to manage the HR process of those who aren’t ‘on track’ far outweighs the time spent with the rest.

This article is about tipping the balance in the right direction. And potentially saving companies £15 billion a year!


Kirstie Kelly – Director of LaunchPad

According to a study by Leadership IQ, in about 42% of organisations, low performers are actually MORE ENGAGED than high and middle performers. This goes against the common assumption that disengaged employees underperform in the workplace.

It obviously makes sense for management to iron out the “trouble spots,” but recent research suggests that outstanding employees should be the focus of managerial efforts in order to actually boost productivity.

While well-engaged but low-performing employees are willing to work hard, the unengaged company all-stars tend to check out and even begin looking for work elsewhere. This leaves companies with highly motivated but underperforming employees, which can be damaging to both efficiency and ROI. In fact, research from the Centre of Mental Health suggests that disengagement in the workplace is costing companies in the UK about £15bn a year, according to FM World.

Luckily, there are some simple and effective ways to put an end to this cycle and better-stimulate high performers. With help from Entrepreneur, we’ve created a list of best practices for boosting engagement while also leveraging employee performance proportionately.

1. Start Your Engagement Process Before They Join The Company

It's important to ensure candidates are properly engaged throughout the recruitment process in order to guarantee their investment in the company if and when they are offered a position.

To do this, each component of your overall recruitment programme needs to be considered carefully with your target audience in mind. Even the smallest details, such as job board posts and visual branding will factor into a top candidate’s decision to decline or accept an offer.

2. Work Engagement

Many top employees begin to lose interest when they start to feel that their skills and talents are being underutilised. In a recent survey, the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) found that 58% of employees find engagement to be ‘very important,’ and 34% linked it directly to job satisfaction.

Give your high performers plenty of opportunities to use the skills you pay them for. Moreover, ask them which skills they’d like to develop further so that they can be given stimulating projects specific to their interests and further their professional development.

Also, don’t forget to praise your high performers for great work. It’s not uncommon for managers to cheer lower performers for purely acceptable work, but this discourages standout performers and leaves them feeling unappreciated. Hold everyone to the same standard, and make sure that every worker gets proper credit where credit’s due.

3. Offer More Control

Employees care about managers’ opinions: 56% feel that an immediate supervisor’s respect for their ideas is a critical part of their day-to-day job satisfaction. Don’t just welcome good ideas – incorporate them. By engaging employees right from the moment they’re onboarded, you’re demonstrating that they are valued and respected. They will respond, in turn, by offering up their best work.

High performers are generally career-minded and recent graduates are the most ambitious cohort yet, with their drive to succeed. Ultimately, their career success is directly tied to their performance. If they’re the drivers of their own progress, they’ll benefit the company in meaningful ways.

4. Create Shared Experiences

High performers often feel isolated – encourage group work, celebrate wins as a team, and go on frequent company outings. The Team Building Directory explains how good teams are the product of good attitudes, not just a combination of skills. Connectivity breeds a positive, engaged outlook, and causes your leaders to inspire others, rather than leave.

How Video Can Help

By reinforcing the work of your most talented employees, you ensure that your entire team remains happy and connected.

Engaged performers deliver better work, inspire devotion and encourage your lowest performers to hold themselves to a higher standard. But it’s important to remember the process must begin early on in order to make sure that new employees entering into your organisation are fully engaged from the outset.

LaunchPad's video recruiting software offers businesses an immersive and effective way of broadcasting company culture and employer brand to prospective candidates, and ensures maximum levels of engagement from the word go. Beginning a candidate’s journey on the right foot is essential to your company’s ongoing success, so take the time to carefully consider how to present your company to those looking for opportunities to be motivated and feel valued.

Request a demo to find out how we can help you better engage your top employees and help low-performers become the stars of the future.

(Main image credit: reynermedia/flickr)