Over the past few years I have been enthralled with the ever changing aspect of employee engagement, and how everyone is reinventing (or least re-writing) the wheel. It is amazing to see all of the aspects of driving engagement and new ideas, but it’s disappointing if we never really see the numbers change. As a talent development professional, I read as much information as I could on engagement to see what it really boils down to. Through my many years of leadership experience and engaging teams, I truly believe we are missing important opportunities that are right in front of us, every day.
Foundational Level Engagement Practices:
- Smile and say hello. You never know who that person might be or who they are connected to. Whether you are walking stores in retail or hallways in an office building, a simple hello can make a person’s day and they remember you and how that made them feel.
- Be Human! Don’t be going so fast that you forget to stop and have a personal conversation with everyone you work with. Yes, this might seem overwhelming when you have 100 people a day to talk to, but remember that every day you engage with your people and learn more about them and share about you, it gets easier and creates more impact.
- Feedback! Ask for it and give it. A simple question like “How do you feel about X activity thing you asked them to do>?” can open up a great conversation. Never make the only time you talk to an employee be when you are coaching them on not performing. This process has to be daily and operate both ways.
- Thank Your Team! Through your conversations (Step 2) you will find out in what way an employee likes to be appreciated, and bring that to fruition. Send a card, organize a recognition event, or maybe just send a simple thank you email. The key is to find out what kind of thank you motivates them. Through taking personalized actions more often, you will drive home the appreciation as well as the engagement of the employee.
While they may seem simple, applying these practices regularly will make your life easier as a leader. My #1 rule – don’t over think employee engagement. What’s critical is to start by remembering to talk to your people. Over the next couple of weeks, I will be expanding on additional tricks for each of the 4 points and things you can do that will make your conversations easier and flow better with each employee.
Victoria Pasquale, MBA
Connect with me on LinkedIn at Victoria Pasquale, MBA
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