Employees want meaningful engagement. As nice as pizza at lunch, casual dress, or bring your pet to work days are—they don’t engage employees for long. The impact of such engagement is fleeting; it seldom creates long-term motivation. Sure, pizza puts a smile on most anyone’s face, but it doesn’t make them more dedicated employees. The key to employee engagement isn’t doing things for them; it’s doing things with them—involving them.

Employees Want Meaningful Engagement 

To understand how employees want to be engaged, you first have to stop thinking of them as employees and look at them as people. When the question becomes, “How do people want to be engaged?” it opens the mind to new possibilities. People want to be talked to—not at. They want to be listened to—not ignored, and they want to be more than a number—they want to know they matter. Treat them like people, not a commodity.

4 Keys to Engaging Your Team

1.) People want to be part of something

  • Share more than what to do and how to do it; share why.
  • Don’t be a BISS (Because I Said So) manager.
  • Explain your purpose.
  • Share the organization’s vision and mission.
  • Talk about the history of the organization.

2.) People want to know they belong

  • Engage teammates by asking questions.
  • Seek teammate’s advice.
  • Be available—listen.
  • Make them feel welcome and integral to the success of the team.

3.) People want to do meaningful work

  • Explain the importance of your team’s work as a group and individually.
  • Talk about how their work affects other departments and the entire organization.
  • Share their positive impact on the organizations’ image.
  • Explain how important the team is to customer service.

4.) People don’t want to feel insignificant

  • Tell them what they do matters and explain why it does.
  • Share and give recognition.
  • Create a cathedral—a positive work environment where no negatives are allowed but leave the door open so teammates can vent to you in private.

Are You an Engaging Leader? 

Employee engagement isn’t brain surgery, and it’s not that hard to figure out. People want to feel important and needed in every aspect of their life—including work. If you want to engage employees, you must talk with them, not at them, ask for their help, not demand their obedience, tell them why, not just what, and let them know they are important. What do you do to engage your team?

How Can I Help You?

I like to help people and organizations, but I have three criteria I consider before taking an assignment – I believe in what the organization stands for, I know I can help, and it looks like fun. If you have any questions, Contact Me. 

Does your business have a management training plan? Many organizations, large and small, use my book, The New Manager’s Workbook a crash course in effective management, as the basis for their leadership development program. Check it out.

Photo by Alex Kotliarskyi on Unsplash