10 Ways to Achieve Engagement

  1. Give employees the big picture and get out of their way. Sit down with your employees, give them the clear leadership vision and mandate of what is expected, and allow true employee ownership in helping make the strategy happen.
  2. People who plan together generally stay together.  Engage your employees by involving them in planning sessions and goalsetting exercises.  Ask them how they see their roles in helping their business units or departments reach performance targets.
  3. Get ideas from the people on the front lines. Take consistent, scheduled, or spontaneous time out for creative brainstorming exercises to tackle business challenges or form innovative products and services. 
  4. Act with speed and agility.  When ideas and new ways of doing things are generated, don't wait to implement them. Cultivate employee commitment by explaining the rationale for a new process or product and ask for their refinements before putting it into action. 
  5. Tweet it!  You don’t have to wait for cyclical and routinely scheduled company-wide meetings or town halls to share news. Use social networking tools to communicate immediately—the good and the bad—and make sure your managers do too. 
  6. Focus on employee strengths and manage weaknesses.  Work with each employee to examine how he or she can build up expertise in his or her talent area.  Don’t become fixated on weaknesses when the  strengths produce solid results.  Minimize the weakness areas and provide the employee tools to compensate. 
  7. Develop talent any way you can.  With limited funds available for education and training, look for internal mentors, seek opportunities to fill conference rooms for training webinars, and even invite retired employees to come back and share what they know. 
  8. Reward innovative ideas and solutions.  When employees design and execute ideas that improve productivity and profits, reward them to encourage more initiative and engagement. 
  9. Appreciate your people and recognize what they do.  Employees want to know they are respected and valued. Courtesy should be consistently demonstrated. Positive actions, behaviours, and contributions performed on a daily basis should receive spoken or written words of appreciation. Saying thank you is still a powerful engagement technique. 
  10. Take time out together to celebrate successes. There is no better way to engage employees than stopping work and taking time out to share in the success of it all. Whether it is organizing a company gathering with refreshments or making announcements at an annual event, show thanks loudly!

Written by columnist Roy Saunderson, President of the Recognition Management Institute.