First do no harm. It's a statement you hear most often associated with the medical community. However, what if this same caution should be applied to HR? Let me explain. In several studies that I have done over the last 20 years I have found an interaction effect in analyzing employee survey data that leads to the following conclusion: Increasing employee engagement or satisfaction survey scores for "low energy" employees has a negative effect on their performance. Basically, the action plans that we give managers can do more harm than good for a specific subset of the employee population. I was presenting this research last week to a group of senior HR executives, and they all had examples of this phenomenon in their own firms. One executive asked me if I thought the 'best place to work' surveys were bad, because she was convinced that their firm's actions to become a best place to work backfired in just the way that my research shows. Comments?