3 Approaches to Better Employee Engagement


The level of employee engagement is probably the most important factor of work life leading to productivity and success.

Most of us are aware of the type of management style that uses the carrot and stick method. If an employee does something good, he gets the carrot and so on. This has become an antiquated and, frankly, useless method of management today which really should have been abandoned decades ago. After many years of being in the workforce, mostly in government service, the thing that means the most to me is simply being treated well. Being treated well and appreciated by my boss is what matters most. Some management experts and consultants will tell you that you cannot be friends with your boss or with your employees. I am sorry, but I must disagree. The friendship may be of a different sort than non-work friendships but positive and supportive feedback is a part of any amicable relationship.

The following are ways in which to provide feedback and support to employees while keeping them engaged:

Provide regular, positive input. People need to be told how they are doing. Employees look for feedback from their manager about how they’re doing. That feedback should be positive and regular. Organizations have their own methods of keeping their people updated with information and letting them know whether their work is good or not. I suggest telling employees that you appreciate their efforts. If this is not done every two weeks or so, then staff members do not get the input they desire.

Equip them to do their best. A manager has several responsibilities to staff. Among these is making sure that information, training and any other needs are provided completely and in a timely manner. Another responsibility is to sometimes run interference for staff when they are distracted by too much communication or too many demands from other departments and from superiors. Managers delegate work to their staff,  so it is important to keep distractions to a minimum.

Make what is important to them important to you. There are as many types of employees as there are people. Each is unique. A staff person may be interested in professional development or in taking on a new challenge. A manager should maintain an awareness of this and help their employee to do meaningful work and offer opportunities to aid them in their career. A manager can proactively ask their staff members if their work environment is suitable. Plus, they should be ready to make changes if possible.

Employee engagement may be the greatest determinate of whether an organization can carry out its mission successfully. The old system of reward and punishment is untenable in today’s workplace. People want to be treated well in their workplace and to know that they are valued. I honestly believe that fostering workplace friendships is important. This type of friendship is usually different than private friendships but supportive and regular feedback is a part of any good relationship. So, keep your staff informed and communicate your appreciation and you will keep them engaged.


Tim Dendy is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here.


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