Recruiting the best candidates and ensuring the productivity of employees are two key roles of human resource professionals. Unfortunately, many of these leaders often engage in bad HR practices that can ruin employee engagement and create a toxic work environment.
The employees are the backbone of any organization, and for it to be truly successful, they must feel valued and respected. There is no better way to promote the employees’ productivity and job satisfaction than by increasing their engagement and allowing them to reach their full potential.
However, many companies have downplayed the importance of keeping employees happy and engaged. For ages, employers and HR professionals have engaged in bad practices that influence how workers perform.
You may be doing it too, either by an act of commission or omission, and these bad HR practices could eventually have dire consequences. For instance, you may get yourself fired, your valuable employees could quit, or the company’s goals may be unachieved because you are working with a disengaged team.
As an employer or human resource manager, you must recognize where you might be doing things wrong to prevent these from happening. In this article, we shall discuss several examples of bad HR practices that can ruin your employees’ engagement and how to avoid or solve them.
Bad HR Practices That Can Ruin Employee Engagement
- Not communicating effectively with employees
It is easy to mistake your leadership position for being a place where you get to sit behind a desk and boss everyone around. But this will likely ruin your relationship with the employees.
Good communication is key in any type of relationship, including employer-employee and manager-subordinate relationships. So, adopt HR best practices and take time to talk to the employees, get to know them better, and understand their problems instead of being distant/aloof, barking out orders, or threatening them.
Share your ideas with the employees and be clear about your expectations and goals. Also, listen to their proposals and they will feel engaged and valued.
Employees should feel like they can open up to employers about their needs and concerns.
- Not giving regular performance reviews
Employees feel disengaged if you only give them feedback about their performance during the annual review. They usually need to know about their performance often.
Performance reviews help employees identify opportunities and make improvements where needed. Without constant feedback, it is natural for them to feel stagnant or like they are falling into an abyss.
Avoid this bad HR practice by updating your employees on their performance regularly, for instance, monthly, quarterly, or bi-annually. It also doesn’t have to be positive feedback all the time. Even negative feedback counts because it sheds light on where there is a need for improvement.
The employees can get a boost of confidence knowing they are doing things right. If not, they will start working on the areas that are lacking as soon as they know about them, instead of waiting an entire year for the performance review or until it is too late.
- Playing favorites
As human beings, it is natural to have some inclination towards some people more than others. We all have our particular likes and dislikes about people and things.
However, some managers take their feelings too far, letting them get in the way of how they judge and treat the employees.
Playing favorites when giving promotions, raises, or assignments is one of the bad HR practices that can ruin employee engagement. It makes some of them feel left out and kills their morale to continue doing their best.
It is okay to feel more comfortable with some people in your team. But what matters is knowing that you are responsible for the entire group. So, don’t let your personal preference affect how you treat a particular employee.
The best human resource practice is to not be biased while in the workplace. You can’t let the actions of one team member slide yet hold another accountable for the same actions.
- Failing to recognize employees’ achievements
When did you last tell your employee ‘thank you,’ ‘well done,’ or ‘good job?’ These are simple terms that mean a lot to your employees but are often overlooked.
Failing to recognize and appreciate the workers’ achievements is an example of the bad HR practices that can ruin employee engagement.
It is time you start letting your employees know that you appreciate their hard work. More so, don’t take credit for something your employee took a lot of effort, time, and risk to get done.
Recognize their efforts, and your employees will always work hard to meet your expectations. Just like you are quick to reprimand poor performance, be quick to comment and reward them when they get things right; those are HR best practices.
- Playing the blame game
Do you take responsibility when things don’t go your way or do you blame everyone around you for the failure? If you engage in the latter, you should know that playing the blame game is one of the bad HR practices that can damage your employees’ engagement over time.
Avoid pointing fingers when things don’t go well. Instead, a good manager takes responsibility for the failures of the team. If one member of the team makes a mistake, it is the entire team that should be responsible.
Instead of looking for who to blame for mistakes and failures, find ways to solve the issues amicably.
Not playing the blame game will encourage employees to take risks that could help the company achieve its goals and feel comfortable admitting any mistakes they make.
- Ignoring your employees’ work-life balance
It is not rare to find bosses who expect their employees to work 24/7. Some do this explicitly, while others will imply it. If you usually do this, you are being insensitive to your employees’ lives; that is a bad human resource practice.
Avoid this bad HR practice by showing your employees that you value their personal time. They might love working for you, but they also have a life outside the workplace that they also cherish and should prioritize.
Don’t take their presence for granted or use your position to treat them like commodities at your disposal.
You can promote employee flexibility by allowing and encouraging remote working. Another HR best practice is to respect the workers’ personal time by refraining from contacting them about work after hours or on their days off. It will make the employees feel engaged, seen, and valued.
- Engaging in wrong hiring practices
Managers often make the mistake of hiring individuals who are exact replicas of themselves. They forget that the criteria used to hire new employees should never be about them. It should be about promoting the organization’s goals and employee engagement.
Other managers hire individuals who don’t meet their level of skills to avoid being outshined and make it easy for them to look down on them. These are bad human resource practices that can cost the organization a lot.
Deploy hiring criteria that promote the productivity of your team. HR best practices are to recruit a diverse team that has the right personality traits and skills that complement your existing team.
- Constantly threatening to fire employees
You might feel like you are the almighty when you are the boss or manager in an organization. You may even like to constantly remind your employees that you can fire them at any time as a way to promote good performance. However, this could be counterproductive.
Constant threats of firing and other consequences are examples of bad HR practices that can ruin employee engagement. It could kill the workers’ morale, instill fear and anxiety about job loss, cause or worsen self-sabotaging behaviors, and make employees quit.
There are many ways to get your employees on their toes, but threatening them is not one of them.
The best HR practices are to acknowledge that no one is perfect and that, perhaps, your employee needs a little more time to learn how to meet your expectations. Don’t embarrass them in public, but instead, talk to them and encourage them to improve.
Now you know why your employees seem disengaged at work. There is never enough pay that can make an employee put up with the above bad HR practices for long. At the end of the day, they will retaliate. If they don’t quit, they will perform poorly.
It is never too late to change and adopt the best HR practices. You can still win your employees back. Ensure you think of how your actions will affect your employees’ engagement before you take them.
Start making a change today and stop engaging in bad HR practices that ruin employee engagement!
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