The Biggest Myths About Employee Engagement

Delivering happiness at work is often thought of as a mysterious combination of hard to deliver perks that employers struggle to provide and that employees rarely appreciate. However what if I told you that what your employees really want is to deliver their best work possible? And that all they need from you is permission to be happy?


Unconvinced? Read on.


Happy employees are engaged employees. And engaged employees are far more likely to deliver results for your organization in the long run. According to a recent study from BI worldwide, nine out of ten happy employees agree with this statement: “I feel an obligation to work as hard as I can for my organization.” It’s never been more important to crack the code of employee happiness. The confusion comes in when employers try to interpret what that means.


Here are the biggest myths employers believe about what makes employees happy.


MYTH 1: Large Paychecks Equal Loyalty

Sometimes it’s far easier to open the company coffers than fix the underlying problems that add to de-motivation, and that’s a problem. Too often managers assume that a large paycheck or financial based rewards are what motivate employees. Extensive research by Gallup, as well as Tim Judge has shown the correlation between job satisfaction and pay is very weak, as well as no significant difference in employee engagement by pay level. Several studies over the past decade have shown that if you want your workforce to be focused and engaged, money is not the answer.


MYTH 2: Employees should be satisfied with their current role

It’s easy to fall into the trap of penalizing employees for being ambitious when what you need at the moment is complacency. The same motivation that was prized when your employee was hired shouldn’t be denigrated when they see no path forward in your organization. A recent SHRM survey showed 83% of respondents said career advancement was very important to them. If you want to retain your employees, creating a pathway for advancement should be seen as necessary. The best way to discover your employee’s goals are during performance reviews and regular meetings.


MYTH 3: Happy employees probably aren’t busy enough

Tight budgets and lack of a data-driven performance assessments mean that employers often associate happy employees with lazy employees. The sight of employees laughing and talking mid-day can often equate, in a stressed out manager’s mind, to loafing or on the job laziness. However the research is compelling. Happy employees are between 12% and 20% more productive than their unhappy counterparts. If that doesn’t spell a good return on happiness, I’m not sure what does!


MYTH 4:Recognition Programs have a low ROI

An employee recognition program is the easiest way to deliver the type of specific, thoughtful attention employees need. An IRF study on the value and ROI of employee recognition showed that recognition programs have the potential, unlike compensation and incentive-based programs, to create a positive cycle of ever-increasing employee engagement and motivation.


When Delta Airlines implemented a recognition program based on their strategy and core values, they reported a 564% return on their investment.


A well thought out  engagement program that ensures that both employee and employer are getting the most out of the relationship can go a long way to creating the type of environment where employees thrive. With a tool like Bucket List, employees can recognize each other for their accomplishments, and companies can reward employees by helping them achieve their life goals.


This way, both employer and employee get exactly what they need to be happy.


Learn more about how to create a fun work environment by downloading the free Bucket List report on workplace happiness.





About Bucket List:

Bucket List is a rewards and recognition platform that empowers employees to recognize each other’s achievements, and allows companies to reward their hard work by helping them achieve their life goals. Get more information about how Bucket List can help you build a world-class culture and challenge your employees to do the best work of their life.

Bart Wisniowski

Bart Wisniowski

I'm the Chairman of Radness at Bucket List. The role can mean something different depending on the day but at the end of the day my ultimate goal is to inspire 10 Million people to knock something of their bucket list.