Are You Really Engaging With Your Employees?

John Krautzel
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In the 21st century, retaining quality workers takes more than high salaries and regular bonus opportunities. Instead, use employee engagement to maintain the loyalty of younger workers. Engaged employees are less likely to be tempted by higher salaries, and they tend to value their work because of the contributions it makes, not the bonuses they accumulate. Ask yourself these questions to determine if you are doing all you can to encourage employee engagement.

Are Your Employees Empowered to Both Succeed and Fail?

Engaged employees know that they have the support of their organization, regardless of the outcome of their efforts. This type of environment boosts employee creativity and encourages innovation. Engaged employees feel free to take calculated risks because they know they will not be penalized for well-intended mistakes. Being part of an innovation-oriented culture gives workers a purpose to drive their engagement. Giving direct, positive feedback for both failures and successes shows employees that you understand what they are trying to accomplish and encourages them to experiment more to perform better in their various roles. Recognize employees' accomplishments as part of your team through multiple channels. Direct, real-time feedback in addition to a congratulations statement in the company newsletter plus a personal commendation from someone higher up in the company does more to engage an employee than financial incentives.

Do Your Employees Know Their Purpose?

Keep members of the younger generations engaged by working harder to keep them connected to your company. Make sure every employee knows your company's mission and how their activity directly affects and drives that mission. Be sure to keep lines of communication open so that workers understand how their contributions benefit the organization as a whole. Encourage interdepartmental work, and offer training opportunities that help employees build the skills necessary to further their personal career goals.

Does Your Company Culture Emphasize Cooperation Over Competition?

Although a little friendly competition on occasion doesn't destroy engagement, a culture of competition is a destructive force. Develop engaged employees by building teams that work well together, cooperating on projects to get things done. Extend this feeling of cooperation throughout your organization. Teams should support each other, helping out when necessary and working on projects that improve operations across the board. In a competitive culture, other employees or other departments often become ridiculed or thought of as scapegoats. Sometimes, workers may even undermine the efforts of other groups to look better themselves. In a cooperative culture, engaged employees are happy to help others, and they may make suggestions to bolster teams facing problems so that the entire company benefits from everyone giving their best.

Retaining quality workers requires a company culture that values innovation and strives towards cooperation. Build employee engagement and encourage job satisfaction by showing all workers how they fit into the big picture. Engaged employees are loyal employees who want to help your company grow and succeed in the future.

Photo courtesy of pakorn at


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