Employee engagement initiatives can often be motivated by a desire to increase performance. The hope is that staff will reciprocate the care shown to them and want to commit to going the extra mile.
However, a desire for increased discretionary effort to improve performance can seem self-serving to staff and undermine any genuine care for their wellbeing. This can result in cynicism and distrust, the expectation of more discretionary effort becoming a contradiction in terms. If a gesture of care and commitment from the leadership is perceived by staff as fake, the impact on trust and goodwill may be quite counterproductive, increasing the likelihood of disengagement that could lead to a lowering of performance.
So, before starting an engagement or change activity, ask yourself: who are you really doing it for?