Employee Engagement Does Not Equal Loyalty

 In Career Tips

Employee engagement is a phrase being used by many HR professionals these days.

Sure, every human resource professional wants their company to be known for a fun, hip, and cool workplace where people are literally battering down the doors to work there, and job turnover is low.

After all, keeping employees are in their best interests, as statistics repeatedly show that the more engaged the employee, the higher the retention rate.  Which equals less cost to the employer.

Going through the recruiting and hiring process carries an extraordinary price tag, in addition to lost productivity and momentum during a position vacancy.

But here is something that employees must never forget: being highly engaged doesn’t mean that there is any better commitment to you from the employer as their employee.

Employee engagement can lure you into a false sense of security.

The statement above about the cost savings is actually the heart of the matter: employee engagement is a business decision. It’s a way to save costs. Not because they really, really like you.

Employee engagement is NOT to be mis-interpreted as more personal, almost familial connection.

And that’s where many workers go wrong.

They allow their feelings for the company to be swept up into an emotional connection that replaces this business connection into a personal one, and rely on that “promise” as a guarantee for job security.

Remember, you are only there at the company until you find a better job offer (usually), and the employer is only retaining you until you don’t meet their business objectives.

Never lose sight of this fact.

Enjoy employee engagement as much as you can, and it’s ok to drink the “Kool-Aid.”

But never substitute employee engagement as an absolute guarantee of job security. Just as soon as management changes, your job can vanish too. So always be aware of the underlying business reason for employee engagement practices.

Dawn Rasmussen, CMP, is a Certified Advanced Résumé Writer and the president of Portland, Ore.-based Pathfinder Writing and Career Services. Clients from across the United States and Canada and from all career levels have benefited from Dawn’s highly-focused and results-oriented résumé, cover letter, and job search coaching services. Many professional groups as well as colleges and universities have appreciated the insights and expertise she shares during presentations on career management topics, and she is a frequently requested national speaker as a result.

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