Top 10 Employee Engagement Mistakes

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As a business, we notice employee engagement problems, we might implement various strategies to boost employee engagement, from creating culture books and organizing well-being training to offering "workations" in exotic locations and providing raises and gifts. However, the foundation of increasing employee involvement and their connection to the company lies in the quality of their interaction with their manager. This individual is often the first point of contact for employees, the source of essential company information, and plays a crucial role in managing work and career development. A manager sets the standard for work quality within the company and can significantly influence employee engagement levels.

Managers bear a significant responsibility, not just in ensuring their department meets its objectives, but in doing so through effective team leadership. Success isn’t achieved single-handedly but through the collective effort of a well-led team.

This article won't cover how to attract the right talent but will focus on avoiding behaviors that diminish a manager's effectiveness. Poor management practices not only impact the quality of work and company profits but also overall employee satisfaction.

Despite its apparent clarity, some companies still adopt a restrictive and authoritarian management style, which is unlikely to attract or retain top talent. Specialists seek more than just good pay; they look for job satisfaction, innovative projects, and a supportive company culture. The longevity of an employee under poor management often indicates a lack of work engagement and awareness of their worth, leading to subpar contributions and hindering company growth.

You may think this article targets the most toxic managers, but it's aimed at highlighting small missteps even the best managers can make, affecting employee engagement and motivation. If you're reading this, you likely recognize the harm toxic behavior can cause and strive to avoid it in your company.

So what's wrong with employee engagement? Let’s explore these subtleties that can inadvertently lower team morale.

Barriers to employee engagement

Incomplete communication

You might believe that your communication and collaboration within the team is crystal clear and that everyone is on the same page, but the reality often tells a different story. It's common to encounter frustrated employees who feel out of the loop or who receive vital information too late. This communication breakdown isn't always directly the fault of management. For example, a manager might relay information to one team member with the expectation that it will be shared with the rest of the team, only for it to be distorted or not passed on at all. This isn't necessarily due to negligence; information can be misunderstood or altered as it's transmitted from person to person. Misinterpretations can arise from differences in understanding or an unwillingness to admit confusion, leading to inaccurate dissemination of the message.

One classic scenario is the delegation of training responsibilities to a single team member, expecting they will then educate the rest of the department. This often results in ineffective training, as the original attendees may not fully grasp the new concepts themselves, let alone be capable of teaching others. Additionally, the shift towards hybrid work models has introduced challenges in ensuring consistent communication between remote employees and in-office employees. Decisions made in the office need to be communicated to remote employees, and vice versa, to maintain a unified team dynamic.

Addressing these issues can be as straightforward as establishing a unified communication channel for disseminating crucial team information. Options might include a dedicated Slack or MS Teams channel, a WhatsApp or Telegram group, a shared Google Drive document, or even a weekly newsletter. The key is to select a method that aligns with your team's needs and the resources available within your company. Implementing such a solution not only streamlines communication but also enhances overall team cohesion and productivity, ultimately benefiting everyone involved.



You're probably thinking now that this article wasn't meant to be about toxic managers. Yes, it's still not about them. Micromanagement isn't just about the worst leaders. Unfortunately, you may not realize that what you do and what is completely normal for you, your team can easily call micromanagement. What might your team be concerned about? The fact that every decision or e-mail has to go through you. You want to know about all the topics, who does what with whom. That you want and feel the need to be involved in every little thing. The fact that you have expectations for your employees to work only from the office, even though their work 100% does not require it, or that they will report going to the dentist a month before this date. I could list new examples for a long time. As we can read in Vivien Rogerro's blog here:

Workplace morale is linked with productivity and job performance, so when morale suffers, so does overall work

Give your employees more responsibility, independence, and trust. It is known that there will be those who will take advantage of your trust, but if you do not trust the others, the best ones and soon “disengaged employees” will quickly look for a new place of work, where they will be able to focus on their work, and not worrying if their boss will find another reason to check them.

Lack of basic knowledge

Micromanagement can harm employee innovation and independence, but managerial indifference, especially when rooted in ignorance, poses a greater risk to team morale and engagement. This indifference is damaging when it shows a manager's lack of knowledge about team functions, employee skills, company products, and processes. Such unawareness can erode a manager's credibility and signal disinterest in the team's efforts, pushing employees toward other leaders who understand their work and aspirations.

Leadership isn't about knowing every small detail but about understanding the essentials and showing interest in the team's domain. Engaging with team basics, asking questions, and learning about their work demonstrates leadership and investment in their growth. This builds trust and respect, making it more likely for your team to seek your guidance, leading to a more united and motivated group.


The ego plays a complex role in management. A positive ego can bolster leadership, earning admiration and loyalty from the team. Yet, its negative aspects might hinder your team's progress and professional development. Employee growth, through personal or professional avenues, not only advances their career but also propels the organization forward. Their enhanced skills directly benefit the company's performance.

However, problems arise when managers, driven by self-interest, suppress their team's potential to protect their status. This might involve not delegating tasks, taking credit for others' ideas, or blocking promotions—all of which could stem from a desire for security rather than outright hostility.

Such a short-sighted approach can lead to talent loss, as employees look for workplaces that value their development. Even if they stay, their morale and work quality may decline. The key is for managers to overcome egoistic tendencies, fostering an environment that encourages growth. By supporting your team's development, you contribute to the organization's success and build a more robust, engaged team. This not only enhances the workplace for everyone involved but also aligns with long-term organizational health and success. As we can read at the

As a manager, you have to accept the fact that your opinion could be wrong and that one of your team members can be more talented than you in certain fields

Let others develop because by doing so you will also develop yourself. Maybe this employee in another department will do something that will bring you new orders from clients and thanks to that you will be able to develop yourself? Maybe some new projects? The ego is powerful, but don't let it work against you.

Lack of appreciation and reward

This point is closely related to what you read earlier. If you focus very hard on ensuring that your employees don’t replace you or move to another department, or you just feel that you will do everything best yourself, then there is no way for you to appreciate your employees in any way, reward them and show them that you are grateful for their work? Well... for what? It all depends on you, right? Your employees are not competent enough to make any decisions on their own and their work always requires your supervision? Sounds familiar, right? To be completely honest, your employees are unlikely to agree with you. Your employees are probably feeling demotivated, burnout, and have less and less desire to do anything. I'm sure they give as much as they can, but they still feel like you don't trust them, you have to test them, and you're taking their jobs. For what they do, they will never hear a simple thank you, and I'm not even talking about some employee rewards. Give them more freedom. Let them take over the responsibility, and at the end, simply thank them for their work. An appreciated employee who feels that his manager trusts him, sees his efforts, and appreciates them, is the most loyal employee and with such an engaged employee you will achieve a lot.

Unequal treatment of employees

It seems that nowadays when employers care about diversity and inclusion, they also care about every aspect of the equality of their employees. Unfortunately, that's not true. Companies focus on ensuring the comfort of employees of different cultures and religions, but there is still a situation where, for example, a woman earns less than a man in the same position. Yes, I know, these are things that the manager doesn't always influence. But what can you influence as a team leader? You accept that one person is regularly late for work or scrolls TikTok at work, and on the other hand, you criticize another person for sitting too long on their lunch break. The fact that you allow someone to have fewer tasks or destroy the atmosphere in the team, and on the other hand give someone else too many tasks, expect overtime. It all seems like little things, but it's the things that can destroy a team of even the best and the most engaged employees in your productive workforce.

No pain no gain or “away” status?

When talking about organizations being a manager often means working late to meet high standards of excellence. This commitment, while admirable, sets an example that your team might feel pressured to emulate. Employees tend to mirror their manager's work habits, assuming these reflect expected norms, which could confuse the commitment level expected from them.

For example, starting early and ending late might signal to your team that long hours are the norm. Alternatively, sporadic attendance or frequent remote work without clear reasons might demoralize your team. These patterns, though sometimes necessary, can be misconstrued without proper context, leading employees to misunderstand their productivity expectations.

The key to avoiding these misunderstandings is effective communication. Regular updates on your activities, setting employee engagement strategies, and clear priorities, and establishing defined availability hours can greatly increase employee well, team transparency, and understanding. This approach reassures employees about their expected work-life balance and clarifies productivity expectations, promoting a healthier workplace for everyone.

Clear communication and defined expectations simplify the manager's role for the team, aligning efforts towards shared goals without the pressure of matching the manager's hours. This clarity improves team cooperation and productivity, benefiting the entire workplace and supporting mutual success.


All managers try to give their employees correct employee feedback. If they don't do it regularly, then at least during the annual performance reviews. Are you doing it right? To prepare constructive feedback, you need to analyze the situation of your employees on an ongoing basis, you need to analyze, and check whether they are developing, whether they have any barriers, and whether they use their full potential. Having all this, you will be able to prepare reliable feedback for them, which will be of value to both parties. Preparing mediocre feedback just for the sake of it will not give you anything. Employees will begin to treat it as something that is of little importance to either their development or the company. And if, by the way, people with the best employee performance are not appreciated for their work in any way in the feedback provided, then you can be sure that in a year there will be no reason to appreciate them at all, and you will notice a high employee turnover rate.


You work creatively, and your employees implement your ideas into life. This is how it should be when you don't focus on the core tasks of your department, and you can focus only on strategic creative stuff. What does this have to do with chaos? Often coming up with new solutions and ideas, we want them to be implemented right now. We add new ideas to the task list of our employees or change their priorities, which forces them to abandon tasks already started. It's normal. It happens everywhere, but the problem is different. It’s your consequence. Does it happen to you that one day you inform an employee that he has to abandon a task to take care of another, and after a week you want to hold him accountable for the first task? Do you know what it does to an employee? Huge frustration and resentment. You can't expect him to be fully engaged in tasks knowing that you're changing tasks for him in a moment and still resent the fact that one of the earlier ones wasn't done. These are not conditions for quality work in such a company culture, so try to process your work and arrange it in such a way that its implementation gives you satisfaction and is organized.


sexism at the workplace

The worst at the end. Something that should no longer take place in 2024, and is still doing well in many companies with very bad management. As we can read at still:

81% of women reported being the victim of a sexist joke at work. And even more, 63% of men felt uneasy when women made comments about their appearance

I will not discuss examples that freeze the blood in my veins, because these topics should be dealt with by relevant organizations, but I will talk about examples that are not so obvious and yet can make people associate you with them. Are you familiar with situations where a young woman was not offered a job in the recruitment process or development opportunities, due to the risk that she would soon become pregnant and disappear for a few months? Are you aware of a situation where a man was not hired for the HR teams because he would probably not have the emotional commitment and not be empathetic enough in interpersonal relations? Do you know of a case where a woman was not selected for a meeting with a client because someone else was afraid that she would not be able to deal with negotiations? Or that a man was chosen to be the manager because he was the only man on the team, even though he didn't feel like it? There are plenty of other examples and common challenges, but yes... that's sexism. The sexism only hurts more than helps, because due to wrong beliefs, you can lose the chance for an amazing deal negotiated by a tough woman, or for a well-run recruitment process led by a sensitive man. Don't lose opportunities over something that doesn't matter.

Conclusion of employee engagement challenges

Being an effective manager means constantly striving for the success and happiness of your team. Yet, it's crucial to occasionally pause and reflect on your management practices. Even the most well-intentioned actions can sometimes lead to "manager mistakes" that inadvertently undermine your hard work. Minor oversights can have significant repercussions, highlighting the importance of attention to detail in leadership.

Beyond the immediate goals of employers success and market presence, consider the broader implications of your management style on your personal growth and opportunities. Your efforts to foster a positive and productive team environment could pave the way for promotions, involvement in new projects, and your overall development as a leader.

A team that is engaged and respects you not only contributes to a positive work environment, increases engaged workforce but also supports your aspirations and professional journey. Regular self-evaluation and adjustment of your management approach can enhance team morale and open doors to future achievements for you and your team.

Insights into Employee Engagement in the HR Industry

Are you curious about the unique challenges and innovative strategies for employee engagement within the HR industry? At NFT Reality, we are eager to share our wealth of insights and experiences with you. Discover the issues we encounter, the methods that drive us, and the creative approaches we implement in our employee engagement initiatives. Dive into our collection of related articles featured on our blog – a treasure trove of knowledge awaits you:

Enjoy exploring these insights. If you have any questions or want to learn more about how our platform can enhance your employee engagement strategies, don't hesitate to reach out. Discover the power of NFT Reality – your gateway to a more engaged and motivated workforce - sign up today!