Employee Engagement is Like an Iceberg

Employee engagement is like an iceberg. While some things are obvious, a bigger chunk is beneath the surface.

For a sustained high employee engagement and performance, it is important to also tap into those beneath the surface and factor them in as you formulate your programs and projects.

Employee Engagement is Like an Iceberg

Visible Portion

  • reasons for staying and leaving, you know, based on what the employees say
  • pay and benefits
  • rewards and recognition
  • perceived culture, some people are good at perception management, and not all that you see is the real score
  • male to female ratio, attrition percentage, engagement survey scores and all other measured indicators

Hidden Portion

  • wellness, which includes mental, emotional, financial, social, career, community and physical
  • feelings of inclusivity and belonging
  • personal triggers and other private challenges
  • true team culture and relationships with teammates, managers and stakeholders
  • performance and engagement drivers

Let’s take wellness for example. Depending on the kind of wellness program you run in the office, it could be fun and engaging for diversion or fun, engaging and strategic for increased retention and performance. The secret is to dig deep and integrate more. Communicate more and keep your conversations authentic.

Often, when people leave, they say it’s because of personal reasons. I call that their publicity reasons. But as you probe more, you will realize that the decision was triggered primarily by unhealthy work relationships, unmet performance driver or mental health concerns. All of which are not easily visible. But once you find out, the programs that you craft would need to address all these not-easily-seen areas as well.