Why Companies Fail In Employee Engagement And Employee Retention

Whether it was the period of Industrial Revolution in the past or the current times of technological advancements, there is no doubt that employees were and will always remain one of the most important assets for all organisations. And smart corporations understand this reality very well.

How Companies keep their employees motivated and engaged ?

Companies take several initiatives to keep their employees motivated and happy. Some of these initiatives are

  • Higher salaries
  • Lucrative incentive structures
  • Better work environment
  • Providing learning opportunities for enhancing skills
  • Various training programs to keep the employees motivated and engaged
  • Maintain Transparency
  • Creating atmosphere of Trust
  • Effective Communication with employees
  • Discourage favouritism
  • Aligning Individual goals, departmental goals with Organisational goals. Creating awareness
  • Encourage Innovation and Creativity

Do Companies always succeed in keeping their employees motivated ?

We all know that the answer to this question is No. The fact is that despite the best efforts, lot of organisations fail to keep their employees motivated. Also times come, when organisations which were known to be best employers in the past fail to motivate and retain employees. They are unable to control high employee turnover. 

Why Companies fail to keep their employees motivated ?

Keeping employees engaged and motivated is not as simple as it appears. Most of the times, its a bunch of reasons that make employees dissatisfied. They may vary from company to company. And in many cases, reasons are specific to a particular company. So you should be sensitive and try to focus on the reasons that are vitiating the atmosphere in your company.

You may also like to read “Motivating Teams During Testing Times”

I will try to pen down some of the reasons for your reference so that your mind starts rolling to figure out the actual reasons in your case.

Sometimes your company is unable to grow due to reasons beyond your control. As a result, you cannot create appropriate growth opportunities for the performing employees in your company. Then obviously they will look for opportunities outside. You can not do much in such cases.

Real intention – What is the actual intention of the Managers and the Management actually plays a deciding role. Unless your intentions are right, results are not going to come.

Sometimes we try to fix in the problem by applying short cuts without fixing the real issue. How do you then expect to succeed.

Recently a trainer told me this incident. He was discussing with a Management of Company that why they wanted to have a training session on motivation for their employees. What is the end result they wanted to achieve? The reply was “actually we are unable to pay salaries to our employees on time. So there is large scale dissatisfaction and we so we want to motivate our employees.”

The trainer told the Management that a Motivational training program is not going to serve any purpose. You actually need to fix the real issue of financial crunch in your organisation and pay your employees salaries in time. If its a short term problem, you can take the employees into confidence. But if its because of the operational inefficiencies of finance department, you need to fix that.

Its like a recipe, you need all ingredients in right proportion – A right mixture of all the initiatives which i have mentioned above are needed to create a healthy work atmosphere for employees.

If you will try to pick a few things as per your convenience and look for results, then obviously it is not going to be that effective.

For example, you are giving higher salaries and incentives, but not providing conducive work environment. So the moment they get a better growth opportunity, they will switch. Because money was the only motivation, and the competition gave a better package. There was no other reason for employee to stick to your company. 

You may also like to read “Man Of Values – Narayan Murthy”

Similarly though you talk about trust and high ethical standards, but your actions tell a different story. Then how do you expect your employees to trust you.

This reminds me of the world famous Saas-Bahu tussle, which happens in every family. Both the parties say “I have not uttered a single bad word against the other party”. Then why they don’t have faith on each other.

We all know that you don’t always need to speak to make others feel offended. But what’s your real intent gets expressed in the form of facial expressions and tone you are using.

The same is applicable in case of companies also. No matter how much you talk about trust, transparency, communication and discouraging favouritism; unless you actually create a conducive environment and your intentions are right, employees will always be able to read out your real intentions. 

You may also like to read “Choosing A Career In Sales Or Operations”

My belief is that organisations should take a holistic and long term view looking for a win-win situation for both employers and employees maintaining high ethical standards. This will help in sustaining long term growth and achieving high levels of employee satisfaction and engagement.

Photo Credit : David Castillo Dominici from Freedigitalphotos.net  


  1. You highlighted some of the very good points which explain the inability of the companies in keeping their employees motivated.
    I personally feel that a company which primarily keep money making as its main motto will find it difficult to keep its employees happy while on the other hand a company which focusses on value creation has higher degree of employee satisfaction.

  2. Hi
    Incredible fact that every organizational leader or employer need to embibe. The more we place systems over people we’ll always encounter oppositions, but knowing that its people who work the system helps us concentrate efforts on growing people than profit.The greatest incentive is that im becoming who i want to be through the organization/leadership.

  3. Great and thought provoking post Anoop. I truly believe that no organisation will thrive without trust, this is the 101 of employee engagement and motivation. Without trust there is simply fear, doubt, anxiety and those emotions don’t motivate anyone to step up and be part of the bigger picture.

  4. In my experience, I have seen an employee who is persistently working on the same project for years are the most culprit of the demotivation. The human brain likes to learn new things, get the new experiences. If you keep the employee in the same position and think that they will be motivated with the work then it will not work.

    You have to find the way to make them busy in some creative works. Every year there job responsibility should be change.

    Your employee should feel like they have something new to learn this year. This is how you can engage them and keep them in the organization for a longer period of time.

    Thank you

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