Most employee engagement strategies are uninformed shots in the dark implemented in good faith. Best case scenario, these efforts happen to alleviate the particular frustration that the employee base was experiencing. What a win! Worse case, you’ve made a gesture that proves to everyone that the organization is uninformed and doesn’t care enough to figure out what really matters to the employees.

Obviously, there are tons of tools out there that will help HR Leaders better understand what the organization wants and needs to become more engaged. Assuming – for one reason or another – those types of solutions are unavailable, then a good-faith guess might be the only option.

So how do you know if it’s working? The most obvious way is when employees provide positive feedback. If they enjoy the experience so much, they are willing to go out of their way to talk about it, then the engagement plan was a success.

A less direct way to know if your employee engagement initiatives moved the needle is if people start making fun of the company’s efforts. This counter-intuitive piece of advice comes from a recent podcast with Christine Comaford, Founder of SmartTribes Institute. She discusses the idea that while clearly, it’s better if employee engagement strategies are well-received, if people are deriding the company’s efforts – atleast they are engaging. When people make fun of something it shows an emotional attachment to it. So in the case where an overwhelmed HR leader is trying desperately to boost engagement but is only met with ridicule, that’s ok! Failure paves the way to success. Eventually, the right solution will come along, and the org will eat it up. To hear the rest of the podcase, feel free to visit Forging Employee Experience. To connect with Christine visit her on LinkedIn or at

The only type of feedback that should really give HR leaders pause is no feedback. If employees are so apathetic that new initiatives don’t even phase them then either the implementation plan is off, or the organization is in big trouble. Breathing life into an employee base that simply does not care, is extremely difficult.

There is no need to fear negative responses! A continued effort in good faith will lead to a more engaged workplace.