Driving Employee Engagement One Smile at a Time
smiling coffee shop attendate

Today I’m sharing a deeper look at step one of the employee engagement process: Smile and Say Hello. 

Seems simple. Then why is it so hard for many leaders?

Team engagement comes down to these simple facts: employees stay because they want to. They feel connected to you or the company. So how does a smile help with engagement? I recommend you try it, and you’ll know. Smile and say hello to a random stranger and watch them light up. They smile back. Smiling makes us happy!

To take this one step further, say “Hello.” Now the person you are talking to is engaged. You have gone from acknowledgement to engagement in a small conversation.

Then comes the true test of whether your employee is happy and engaged or just going through the motions:

  • If they don’t say hello back or just give you a nod of the head, then you stop to talk to them. Ask them how they are doing. Say something like, “You don’t seem like yourself today, everything OK?” Whether they open up or not, they will remember that you acknowledged the signs they were giving off. You stopped long enough to show care and concern for them. This makes one more great step in building a connection with your employee. It adds to engagement.
  • If they do say hello back with a positive spirit, you can ask them how they are doing or how their day is going. This creates a conversation that you can build on in the future. It continues to add to their engagement.


Try these tips! See what reaction you get from employees and go from there, because without these first steps, there is nothing to build off in the future.


Beth Kelzer
Follow Beth at

For the latest in personal branding, job and career-related updates please consider following us @CareerToolboxUS of join us on LinkedIn

Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash