Top 6 Employee Engagement Killers

In 2007, when Elizabeth Holmes was leading doomed consumer healthcare technology company, Theranos, from startup to a multibillion-dollar empire, she approached her head of engineering and requested that the engineers work around the clock, 24/7.

In a team where turnover was already through the roof, it became obvious that Theranos cared more about achieving its goals (duping investors and terminally ill patients) than burning out its employees.

Employee engagement matters to your company. Engaged employees contribute to the company and are always working to progress their careers.

What are the biggest engagement killers and how can you and your management team work to improve employee engagement within your company? Here are 7 of the top engagement killers that companies experience and what you can do to fix them.


  1. Being oblivious to employee burnout

Nobody wants to put down their piña colada to check their work email on vacation. And overworking your employees is a surefire way to burn them out.

Stretching your employees too thin doesn’t just hurt the person, it hurts the company. Take for instance the cost of healthcare from both physical and mental problems of burnout. It is estimated to be between $125-190 billion a year. Longer hours doesn’t always result in a higher success rate.

Don’t be so focused on company objectives that you are oblivious employee wellbeing. To help prevent this from happening in your office, schedule regular check-ins with each employee. If you are understaffed, see if there is any room in the budget to hire part-time or fractional employees to relieve the workload while still allowing your business to grow.


  1. Disregarding employee apathy

When employees lack motivation and are indifferent to their job and the company, they are less likely to put in the effort to produce their best work.

What can you do to make apathetic employees more engaged? Interacting with employees on a daily basis can help assess employee engagement.

Since the success and profitability of your company are associated with employee performance, it benefits the company to prioritize employee happiness.


  1. Ignoring the quiet storm

Everyone knows someone who bottles everything up and lets it fester until one day they explode like a Mentos dropped into a Coke bottle.

The quiet storm employee may have issues going on, but they remain quiet. As these negative emotions churn, these employees will lose motivation and begin to hate their job.

How should executives handle employees who harbor negative emotions in the workplace? Talk to your employees and find out why they may be unhappy. It is the leadership teams job to always be working to create a positive environment and help employees consider forward-thinking solutions.


  1. Lack of growth opportunities

A lack of growth opportunities is one of the leading causes of employees dissatisfaction and turnover. Companies that don’t support opportunities to learn and grow are putting themselves in the position to lose their best employees.

Offering growth opportunities is a great way to ensure that your employees not only stay engaged in their role but succeed.


  1. Siloed departments

Silos are a culture problem. Many fast-growing companies struggle with departmental silos, which can prevent and restrain employee collaboration.

A lack of cross-departmental communication can cause uncertainty and make for an unnerving work environment. Siloing hampers communication, and as a result, it can create inefficiencies within the organization, as well as frustration and resentment among team members.

Because silos can force employees who should be working together, to work against each other, it’s up to you and your management team to create top-down solutions to prevent and break departmental silos.


  1. Utilizing antiquated technology

How do you expect your employees to deliver the best results if they are working with technological limitations? Obsolete technologies cost business your business money.

For many companies, every second counts. Out-of-date technologies result in a loss of productivity and decrease performance. If your team is giving a presentation to clients or needs a quick turnaround to hit a deadline, slow technologies could be the difference between winning them over or tarnishing your brand.

Talk with employees to discuss any pain points they are experiencing. Do they have any suggestions for software that can increase efficiency? Then look at your budget and see where you have room to make changes or purchase new systems.


Engagement killers hurt employee morale. Understanding how these engagement killers can negatively impact the company can help you and your team recognize and eliminate them from occurring. Preventing these instances from happening, or at the very least – addressing and fixing them – will improve company culture and enable employees to thrive and work harder.

For assistance on remedying any engagement killers your company may be experiencing, contact us today.