How to engage employees

July 15, 2016 -  By
Employee engagement has a direct correlation to retention, Mel Kleiman says

Employee engagement has a direct correlation to retention, Mel Kleiman says Photo: ©

Other than a paycheck, do you give your employees any good reasons to come to work each day?

If your answer is “not really,” here are a few ideas to help you pump up employee engagement, which has a direct correlation to retention and makes recruiting new hires easier, too.

1. Differentiate yourself. What do you offer that other employers don’t? Are your policies more family-friendly? Maybe you’re more flexible or you promote from within more often? Whatever it is, talk it up and publicize it. Your people may not know or notice unless you point it out.

2. Be inclusive. Solicit employees’ opinions, brainstorm solutions to problems, tell them the whys of what is required of them and never let the reason be “because I said so.”

3. Recognize jobs well done. The best way to encourage positive behavior is to recognize it immediately. Make the recognition specific and personal. Whether it’s written or verbal, it should go something like: “(Person’s name), you handled that (specific task/interaction) in the best possible way. I really appreciate how you (specifics of what the person did).”

4. Give your undivided attention: Regularly, be it once a year or once week, set aside some time for a meeting or lunch with each of your key players (the ones you would hate to lose).

5. Make work fun. Conduct friendly contests, tell jokes, pass out lollipops, bring in bagels on Fridays, ring the bell when a sale is made and celebrate employment anniversaries and birthdays. There’s no reason work can’t be fun, and there are lots of good reasons why it should be!

6. Express your appreciation. In addition to recognizing specific tasks well done, appreciate your people for behaviors that make a difference. Thank them for helping coworkers, for great teamwork, for dependability and for taking responsibility. What you focus on increases, so focus on what you appreciate.

7. Reevaluate your rules. Ground rules ensure that everyone is on the same page about how the game is played. Where some employers go wrong, however, is they don’t trust their people to do the right thing, so they have a rule or regulation for everything. Make sure every rule is necessary and that everyone understands why it is.

8. Be a role model for respect. All work is worthy of respect, and management sets the tone. When employees feel respected and valued, they’ll respect management, each other, and, most importantly, your customers.

9. Build relationships. Good relationships with managers, coworkers and clients are just as important to most employees as their compensation. Once again, management sets the tone with things like team building exercises, mentoring programs, asking employees to help vet potential new hires and roundtable, brainstorming meetings.

10. Make accountability your modus operandi. Let it be known that everyone will be held accountable for meeting their commitments and fulfilling their duties. This does not involve placing blame. Rather, when someone falls short, seize the opportunity to find out what went wrong and why and how to improve systems and communications so it never happens again.

Photo: ©

This article is tagged with and posted in Featured, July 2016

About the Author:

Mel Kleiman is the author is the founder of Humetrics. He helps companies build high-quality, frontline, hourly workforces. Reach him at

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