Ever heard of the “decline effect”? It’s this quirky psychological phenomenon where the more you try to improve something, the more it starts to decline. That’s what’s happening with Employee Engagement. You can always blame the economy or limited options for employees, but that’s not the full story. There’s a deeper reason behind the decline.
Let’s talk about the obsession with Employee Engagement in the last decade. HR departments went all-in, focusing solely on boosting engagement. We measured and implemented programs. We celebrated the uptick in scores. But then, despite our relentless efforts to push those scores higher, they started dropping again. Blaming managers, employees, or vendors didn’t solve it either.
It’s like buying a house. The first one was perfect. Then came the bigger houses with more space, more to handle, and more problems. Happiness didn’t grow with the size.
We’ve thrown everything into making employees happy—new perks, freebies, and fixes. But there’s a limit. Employees were engaged before this frenzy. Seeking more doesn’t always lead to better results; sometimes, it leads to worse outcomes.
Employee Engagement isn’t about more—it’s about balance. Don’t fall into the trap of endlessly chasing more. It’s a dead-end road that gives you less and less over time. Find a sustainable approach to engagement that doesn’t exhaust your efforts.