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 How to Build Employee Engagement  – 4 Tips to Reduce Turnover


Employee engagement and the issues surrounding it has become a major topic in every boardroom, talent acquisition and human resources meeting.

It is no secret that people are leaving their current job in historically large numbers. While it is often termed the “Great Resignation,” it is not accurate to say people are leaving the workforce. No! They are leaving companies in most cases to go to other companies where they believe – sometimes mistakenly – that the grass is greener on the other side.

How can you make sure your employees appreciate that the grass is actually greenest on your side?

In addition to this video, here are 4 tips to motivate your team and keep them engaged.

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1) Don’t Treat Employees as Employees!

Wha? “The guy is nuts,” I hear you say. Maybe, but the critical mindset when dealing with your employees is to treat them first of all as people, comrades in arms if you will.

Remember, your employees experience the same emotions, reactions, highs and lows as you do. The factors that trigger those emotions may be different to your personal experience but the emotions and reactions are not.

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2) Ask Yourself: “What would the employee I interacted with today say about me to their spouse, partner, family, friend?

Unless you have employees wire-tapped, it might be difficult to really know the answer, but you probably can guess though as to whether the employee says she is treated with respect and appreciated when a good job is done.  You don’t need to be liked to be an effective boss who generates good employee engagement, but you do need to be respected.

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3) Ask the Question: “How is it going?”

In a fast paced environment, it is easy to fall into the trap of not listening to employees and simply telling people what needs to be done. From my experience, this often happens when you have daily “Huddle” meetings, where you feel the need to cover numerous topics fast and get your team out on the floor as soon as possible. I liken this to regularly telling your teenage kid what to do / how to behave etc. which as most parents will attest soon becomes a waste of breath. You’re talking. No one is listening.

If however, during your regular meetings you ask “How is it going?” you now have the opportunity to get a conversation going. If this is a new departure for you, you may initially get silence as the team wonders “What’s the reason for this question?” Maybe, you can preface the question with “I think we are doing great work here, all of you, but I’m interested in your views as to how it is going.” You also probably have a number of employees who do have opinions on many topics, so maybe you can ask one of them specifically the question.

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4) Accept and Implement Employee Comments and Suggestions

If you truly want to build employee engagement, those employees must feel valued. One highly effective way to encourage improved morale and reduce employee turnover is to accept, appreciate AND implement ideas from your team. Are there simple, implementable suggestions coming from your co-workers that can be easily introduced. These ideas do not have to be life changing and in your view might not even make much of a difference to operational activity, BUT accepting them and implementing them WILL make a huge difference to employees sense of being valued. When employees see their ideas being implement, it will result in much better employee morale and engagement.

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If efforts to build employee engagement were easy, well…., there wouldn’t be a major issue with it, nor would we have a crisis in employee retention. Try these four tips consistently, in a deliberate and disciplined manner. You will benefit from the results.

For more thoughts on improving employing engagement, see Employee Engagement Ideas that Work 

Article written by IrishmanSpeaks Conor Cunneen, who is a happily exiled Chicago based Irishman and keynote speaker. Conor has a deep and abiding passion to help corporations and business entities improve employee retention by providing a better workplace environment and treating people with respect.

More articles on Employee Engagement, Culture and Employee Retention

Employee Engagement Tips – A brief primer on CHAPS

See: Reviews of Employee Engagement Software

Amazon Books on Employee Engagement


Speaking about How to Build Employee Engagement

Conor in Canada speaking about how to build Employee Engagement

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