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How to Improve your People's Engagement in 4 Simple Steps

Many companies focus on creating these external motivators with the intention to keep people wanting to come back to work and rock performance out, but, just like a new car, after a few miles and days or driving it, excitement does die out.

The reality is that the reason why each one of your employees are not engaged may vary.

Do you want to improve how things are happening in your organization? Here are 4 incredibly effective ways to get things moving in the right direction, boost performance and encounter more smiley faces at the office.

1. Give people space to express themselves

We need to consider that the reason why your employees are not engaged might have zero to do with you and your company. People need to express themselves and feel that they have a safe avenue to do so. Without judgment. Work is not necessarily a typical place for people to do that.

Knowing this, what can you do today to change it? What can you do to help people feel comfortable and share their thoughts, concerns and feelings? Their reasons for lack of engaged at work might have nothing to do with you and your organization. That however, doesn’t make it less important. The truth is that low levels of engagement have everything to do with how well your organization performs.

Learn what’s going on with your people. Make it personal and provide the necessary support to help them move forward.

2. When evaluating your leaders, listen to their people first

Very often, really horrible bosses are great sales people who know how to sell up to leadership. Do not allow yourself to be sold by a terrible leader within your organization on how great they are. Listen to the people. If you hear rumors of employees not liking to work for a certain leader, get in there and figure out what is happening.

Do this soon! One of the most common reasons your attrition will rise, or performance decrease, is because of bad bosses.

Invest in great leadership. In their development and consistent improvement. Remove those that don’t serve your people well.

3. Train, Mentor and Coach your people

Take the time to teach your people. Care for their development. Most of them, really want to get better. They dream of a successful future, but a lot of them feel lost. They don’t know where to go, how to do things better and need valuable direction. Sit with them. Observe how they are doing their jobs. Ask them questions that bring up their challenges and invest in their growth.

Challenge your people to go a step beyond their comfort level and give them leeway to figure things out on their own. I have seen incredible engagement and growth in people when they are given trust and independence to own business projects.

4. Keep your promises

This might sound easy, but it isn’t. Leaders are very busy and your employees know that, but if you make a promise, make sure it is something you can absolutely deliver. Be conservative with your promises and don’t guarantee something that is out of your reach.

Now, if you are already there (you made an impossible promise), apologize quickly and emphatically and find a way to make it up.

Also, not keeping your promises will affect your credibility as a leader. The less credible you are, the less your people will respect you. Do you see where this is going?

So to sum it all up...

Nothing will help you improve employee engagement like human connections. The type of building or how far away you work from your people doesn’t matter. At the end of the day what really matters is that people feel heard, valued and trusted to do a great job.

One of the best books I can recommend on this subject is DRIVE by Daniel Pink. I believe this is a resource that needs to be read by every leader out there.

Mariana Jaeger is a Leadership Development and Performance Success expert and has successfully trained, mentored and coached hundreds of people in her career. To learn more about Mariana, click here

Mariana Jaeger


Austin, Texas based, serving clients globally.

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