8 Factors That Affect Your Company's Employee Engagement For The Worse

8 Factors That Affect Your Company’s Employee Engagement For The Worse

If the Great Resignation has taught the business world anything, it should be this:

Yes, you do have to care about the factors affecting employee engagement in your organization. If company culture is “the way things are done around here,” then employee engagement is “how your employees feel about the way things are done around here.”

As a manager or an executive, you cannot operate with impunity, never taking the pulse of the people who work for you. If you ignore how your employees feel about each other, the company as a whole, or the work itself, you will wind up with disengaged employees who start to question why they should stay at their jobs and work hard when the pastures look far greener elsewhere. Managers who operate with an “If you don’t like it, then leave” mindset are likely to get their wish, given enough time.

Even managers with their employees’ best interests at heart might miss some problems flying under the radar and start to wonder why no one seems as satisfied in their jobs as they should be. That’s because there are a number of factors that affect employee engagement and motivation, and any one of them could spell trouble if it gets thrown out of whack.

If you’re trying your best to keep your workforce happy and it still feels like your staff would rather complain or quit than try to work things out, stay tuned. The following list should help you sort out which conditions are adversely influencing employee engagement in your company before it’s too late and your office is filled with nothing but dust-covered computer monitors and tumbleweeds.

One great way to boost employee engagement is to host a team-building activity. Find out how Firefly Team Events can help you bring teamwork and excitement back to your workplace.

Which of these factors is negatively affecting employee engagement in your company?

Factors affecting employee engagement: Lack of strong leadership examples

Lack of strong leadership examples

Leaders set the tone for company culture, and company culture directly affects engagement. If your company has leaders who don’t fit with the culture you’re trying to create, it might be best to find someone else for the position. Even if they’re driven, productive, or a helpful force in other respects, the effect toxic leadership can have on employees outweighs all the good aspects.

How to fix it:

Hire for culture first and qualifications second. Often, you can find a thousand applicants with similar resumes. If you hire someone that’s a perfect fit for your culture, you can train most of the remaining hard skills.

Factors affecting employee engagement: Wrong people in the wrong seats

Wrong people in the wrong seats

Similarly, having people in certain positions when they’d be better off elsewhere can lower the engagement of the entire team, not just the misplaced employee. If your whole team is made up of A players except for one B or C player, the entire team’s performance can get dragged down to that person’s level. And where performance goes, morale shortly follows.

How to fix it:

Part ways with your C players. Coach or replace your B players as well. The goal is to have all the right people in all the right roles for their skill sets.

Factors affecting employee engagement: Unclear vision

Unclear vision

Nobody enjoys chasing a target that keeps moving right as they’re about to hit it. And going for a hike without a destination in mind is just… wandering. If your company keeps shifting goals or sending mixed messages, employees will quickly become confused and frustrated.

How to fix it:

Humans need consistency. If constant change is exhausting your employees and making them want to give up, focus on establishing steady, clear goals that don’t change based on the winds.

Factors affecting employee engagement: Lack of connection

Lack of connection

You can promote the best culture in the world, but if your employees have no way to get to know each other well — or no incentive to try — your engagement will suffer. Studies have proven that having friends in the workplace makes employees less likely to leave, even if other conditions aren’t optimal.

How to fix it:

Plan a team-building activity! What better way to improve your employee engagement factors and even boost activation — the passionate, positive vibes your employees feel about your company — than to have everyone relax and let their hair down together for an afternoon?

Factors affecting employee engagement: Lack of feedback or recognition

Lack of feedback or recognition

People love to hear how they’ve made a difference. If your employees feel like they’re shouting into a void and getting no response, even when they try their hardest, they will eventually stop trying at all.

How to fix it:

The solution may be as simple as implementing quarterly reviews or hosting Friday huddles where everyone has the opportunity to recognize someone else’s hard work.

Factors affecting employee engagement: Employees feel trapped

Employees feel trapped

What impacts employee engagement more than feeling like there’s no room to grow and nowhere to go from here? Hitting the ceiling can be a harsh wake-up call for employees who value constant personal career growth.

How to fix it:

Remedying this situation will take some personal effort from leadership. Connect with your employees — one on one, if possible — and ask them what their career goals are and how you can help them get there. Make sure the path of advancement through your company is clear for those who want to strive for the top.

Factors affecting employee engagement: Lack of empowerment or autonomy

Lack of empowerment or autonomy

Daniel Pink’s study on motivation shows autonomy, mastery, and purpose as the top three drivers of motivation. If an employee can’t fully exhibit these, their sense of ownership over their work will suffer, and so will their engagement.

How to fix it:

If you have a tendency to micromanage, stop. Some jobs do require significant oversight, but allowing employees the freedom to exercise their own judgment and have an independent say in their projects can go a long way.

Factors affecting employee engagement: Hypocrisy


If you are caught saying one thing and then doing something else that goes against the culture you’re pushing, you can expect some unhappy employees. No one likes to talk about hypocrisy, but if it’s a problem in your workplace it must be addressed, because hypocrisy is the death of engagement.

How to fix it:

When you say something, mean it and be prepared to back it up. It can help to tackle culture shifts in stages rather than trying to shoot too high all at once. Start with core values that reflect where you are now, rather than where you’d like to be. Focus on embodying those core values, and over time you’ll be able to shift goals higher without looking like you’re moving the goalposts or not practicing what you preach.

Think your team is suffering from a lack of connectedness? A team-building event from Firefly can help your employees form a stronger bond.

It would be pretty difficult to spend an afternoon competing Survivor-style on the beach or building a care package for shelter puppies without getting to know your colleagues better. Who knows — maybe some unexpected friendships are exactly the remedy your workplace has needed all along.

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