4 Fundamentals of Employee Engagement
thank you card

I am enthralled with the ever-evolving subject of employee engagement. But while new ideas emerge, how likely are we to see career satisfaction and retention numbers change?

As a talent development professional, I read as much information as I can on engagement. Even though I’ve spent many years in leadership and engaging teams, I believe we are missing the most basic—and important—opportunities right in front of us every day.


Foundational level engagement practices:

Smile and say hello. You might never know who a person is 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. They don’t forget you and how that made them feel.

Be Human. Don’t go 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 time you engage with your people, learn more about them, and share more 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?” can open a great conversation. This must be a daily process. You can’t let coaching conversations about non-performance be the only time you talk to an employee!

Thank Your Team. Through your conversations, 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. These personalized actions will drive home the feeling of appreciation as well as boost the employee’s engagement.

While these practices may seem simple, applying them regularly will make your life easier as a leader.

My #1 rule: don’t overthink employee engagement. What’s critical is to start by remembering to talk to your people. Always be on the lookout for ways to make your conversations easier and flow better with each employee. Make this your personal brand!


Beth Kelzer
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