8 Costly Drawbacks of High Employee Engagement You Must Know

By Ray O’Donnell

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Employee engagement has numerous benefits. From increased employee productivity, collaboration, and sales to lower employee turnover, you can experience it all.

But what are its drawbacks?

In this article, we’re going to discuss 8 drawbacks of high employee engagement that are doing more harm than good to both your employees and business.

Let’s get started.

Drawbacks of High Employee Engagement

Read on to understand the limitations of high employee engagement.

1. There Are High Chances of Information Leak

No doubt employee engagement is beneficial to the company, the customers, and the employees. Doing this will also have a positive impact on your customer health score and overall customer satisfaction. 

It can improve employee advocacy, boost your reach, and increase leads and sales.

But think about it.

To achieve better employee engagement, the top management needs to be more transparent with their team, which means sharing important information with them.

For example, healthcare management needs to share the required information about the medical infrastructure in their hospital. In these situations, the healthcare employees work as influencers for their organisation which will help them to increase HCP engagement. It helps healthcare brands to boost their brand awareness. They share your brand story over the different HCP engagement platforms.

Remember that this type of information is sometimes confidential and needs to be protected from the public, hackers, or other competing businesses.

Unfortunately, there is no way you can monitor to see that no employee is exposing any piece of information.

This means that there’s a high risk of the information shared during meetings and discussions leaking out and this can put your business at serious risk.

Thus, information leakage is one of the serious drawbacks of high employee engagement. This is especially true if your employees discuss this information outside work domains.

A simple social media post by one employee can put your confidential information out to the public.

Here are three ways to prevent your employees from leaking vital information:

  • Educate your employees about the risks of leaking confidential information.
  • Establish legal compliance.
  • Set up a policy that restricts employees from saving business information on an external drive or taking it out of the office.

2. It Eats Up a Lot of Company Time

Time is money. In other words, time is a precious thing.

But consider this:

Improved employee engagement would mean that your employees would be communicating a lot more than you’d have anticipated.

But here’s the thing.

Such discussions can take up valuable time that would otherwise be spent by the employees on completing their tasks, so it’s important to manage them well to manage your business expenses.

This means that the company management needs to plan things out to ensure that the high engagement doesn’t end up lowering employee productivity and hurting company revenue.

3. There is Need for Proper Training

Another one of the costly drawbacks of high employee engagement is the regular training required.

From educating employees about the importance of not leaking confidential information about the company to ensuring that they understand the content, you need to train them for everything.

Apart from this, there’s a need to educate employees on how to use certain software programs during meetings especially when it comes to virtual meetings.

This can add up the company costs and use a lot of resources. In the long run, this can hurt company revenue.

4. Confidential Company Policies May Be Revealed

Every company has its confidential policies that set them apart from the competition.

And since employee engagement requires every company employee to understand company policies and abide by them, the top management has the mandate to discuss them with the employees.

These policies need to be kept in secrecy and not be shared with the public, but employees may end up speaking about them and might end up revealing them to the outside world.

And this could be a potential PR disaster waiting to happen. So, it’s important to determine what policies to discuss or say during meetings or workshops.

5. More Freedom Given to Staff Can Be Detrimental to the Organization 

Figure this.

To achieve improved employee engagement level, company management, managers, and team leaders need to allow employees the freedom to carry out their duties and make decisions that are beneficial for the company.

This means that the employees get enough freedom to make critical business decisions.

However, some employees may misuse their freedom. Or, others may think that they have the freedom to do whatever they want.

This could mean revealing confidential company information, misusing company resources, etc.

To avoid this, freedom should only be given based on the responsibility and the authority or position of the individual employee. While companies should still track the eNPS score for employee satisfaction, it's still crucial to also have an eye on them to avoid further issues.

It’s also important to let employees know the boundaries to which they should use the freedom given.

6. There is a Need for Regular Updates

When employees participate actively in company meetings or during discussions, the management or top leaders need to constantly keep them updated. 

For example, an account officer should aware of all accounts receivable, payable accounts, cash flow of the company, receivable, bank reconciliations, etc.

Otherwise, they might feel excluded and this can lead to decreased employee performance and productivity.

But these regular updates can cost the company a lot of time and resources. This isn’t the case with lower employee engagement.

7. Requires Comprehensive Onboarding

When you’ve got high employee engagement throughout your organization, it’s important to ensure that your new hires get up to speed with the way their colleagues communicate during the onboarding process

Merely showcasing posters and distributing brochures about your wellness program falls short of effectively informing your staff about the program.

It’s necessary to ensure this so that the new hires don’t feel left out or end up with lower productivity levels. 

And how do you do that?

Well, your onboarding process will need to be very comprehensive. You need to craft compelling employee onboarding survey questions aimed at understanding employees better during hiring.

Based on the answers to these questions, you can determine what needs to be done to train your new hires better to get them ready for their job. Employees who have just been hired can read and understand their new role within the organization easily by implementing employee onboarding documentation.

8. High Employee Engagement Can Lead to Burnout

Lastly, on my list of drawbacks of high employee engagement is burnout.

Highly engaged employees are more likely to focus more on their jobs and less on their well-being.

This is understandable because engaged employees are more productive. But this productivity sometimes comes with a hefty price tag.

Some employees may even skip breaks or forego their lunch to accomplish assigned projects within a given deadline.

This can lead to employee burnout.

When highly engaged employees are burned out, their performance suffers. This can also affect their output thus hurting the company's revenue. Finally, it may reduce their job satisfaction in the long run.

Here are tips to prevent employee burnout:

  • Advise the company managers on how to manage employee burnout.
  • Encourage a healthy work schedule.
  • Create a mental health policy.
  • Explain employees’ roles and responsibilities clearly.
  • Hold regular meetings with team members.
  • Discourage employees from overworking themselves.


While high employee engagement can be of great value to any business, it’s important to manage it well to ensure it doesn’t become detrimental for both the company and employees.

Understanding the drawbacks of high employee engagement is a great idea if you’re committed to growing your organization while ensuring your employees’ well-being is taken care of.

I hope this article helps you to change your perspective.

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