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Common mistakes that prevent employee engagement

There are a number of common mistakes being made by companies and their leaders when it comes to engaging employees.

With broader economic factors creating negative pressure on organizations, it has become harder to properly engage workers. Forbes noted that top firms are able to use the office environment, employee incentive programs and open communication to motivate and inspire staff members. Unfortunately, there are a number of common mistakes being made by companies and their leaders when it comes to engaging employees. A recent article by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) listed some of the more common ways to demotivate workers.

Don't: Publicize failures
The source noted that some managers regularly use public criticism to light a fire under their employees and control behavior. This rarely accomplishes anything aside from making everyone feel bad and creating a hostile work environment.

Instead: Recognize success
Positive reinforcement can generate the results a manager wants in a more engaging manner. Using employee reward and recognition programs to build upon success can inspire everyone to achieve higher levels of performance. By acknowledging the values that managers want to promote, such as hard work and honesty, team leaders can encourage that behavior in everyone.

Don't: Cut reward programs to save money
Recognition programs are often the first thing that gets cut when corporations need to reduce spending. Unfortunately, this makes employees feel that their hard work will go unnoticed, which can cause them to stop trying.

Instead: Seek alternative forms of praise
A separate article by the NFIB noted that there are a number of ways to acknowledge success even with a limited budget. Small perks like extra vacation days or a personalized parking space can make a big difference to staff members. Businesses may find they can save money by rewarding points toward merchandise like televisions, tablets or jewelry. This lets managers offer praise for a job well done, without needing to immediately spend on a reward.

Don't: Give unattainable goals
Once employees realize they will not meet the objectives set for them, they quickly stop trying. Even if the goal is possible to achieve, its scope may seem out of reach for many workers, creating morale problems.

Instead: Develop various benchmarks
Crafting a range of objectives for employees that become increasingly challenging can help firms keep workers motivated and boost their performance. This lets teams get a few small successes right off the bat to build confidence. Organizations should be sure that the reward is appropriate for the accomplishment. Harder goals should always have bigger rewards to encourage individuals to meet every challenge along the way.

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