Keeping Employees Motivated And Engaged!

Keeping Employees Motivated And Engaged!

Appreciation and acknowledgments are central to the outstanding performance of any employee. Employee engagement has been the talk of the corporate world for a long time. In lay man’s terms, employee engagement or work engagement refers to an employee who is fully involved in and is enthusiastic about his or her work and thus will act in a way that promotes the well-being of the organization.

Basically, this concept refers to workers feeling the need to be connected to their role in the company, to other team members, to their supervisors, to the organization and definitely to the organization’s objectives. The key areas that both employees and employers should focus on when it comes to employee engagement are:

  • Defining company culture: The Company should define its goals and objectives and hire employees who they think can serve the same purpose.
  • Develop healthy work relationships: Employees will give 100% towards achieving the goals of the Company, in a healthy work environment.

An employee personally feels that he or she has made an effective contribution towards the organization and has gained the respect of his or her colleagues and peers. The process of motivating employees and keeping them engaged is simple:

  • Track project results and celebrate milestones: Any achievement by an employee should be acknowledged and celebrated. This helps in motivating him or her to perform with renewed zeal and passion the next time around.
  • Give support and accolades: There are times when the team members need hand holding or support for achieving something big. It is at this time when the Company needs to stand by its employees.
  • Conduct workshops on cross-training: Each employee should have knowledge of not just his or her job profile, but also about other departments in an organization. This will not just help in creating a healthy work atmosphere across departments, but also motivate each department to perform better than the other.

It’s extremely important for employees at any workplace to be motivated and be constantly engaged. The key job of a manager in an organization is to get things done through his employees. For this, the manager should be successfully able to motivate his employees.

Motivation is a need or desire that causes a person to act, to take the initiative or be enterprising. By regular motivation and encouragement, both the employer and the employee feel a sense of satisfaction.

Do share your thoughts on the same.

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  • I wish more employers followed these suggestions. Work would be a whole lot less boring and oppressive.

  • I agree with Asma. However, as a big fan of Paul Hersey’s Situational Leadership theory (which I have been applying with success for many years), I would add, that each employee is different, and that, therefore, that the degree to which an employer or supervisor proactively engages the employee, depends on the employee’s capability/motivation mix.

    What works for brand new employees, will not necessarily work for employees who have been with me for a while and know their job and are motivated to do it; nor will it work for employees who have been with me, know their job, but are not motivated; nor will it work for those that are motivated to perform, but are not capable.

    Ultimately, however, it is my opinion that Asma’s article is right on the money, as it is vital to keep everyone engaged. In doing so, an organization’s forward momentum comes not from forces external to employees, but instead individual drive. Employees who are engaged adopt the organization (group, company, team, government entity, etc.) as their own; they internalize and take possession of its objectives, and they drive it forward.

    Obstacles become their obstacles, and success become their successes.

  • Zahid H. Chaudhary

    Recognition and instant feed back is probably the most important element in this regard.

  • I would caution leaders, that not all employees want to be rewarded the same way. For example, X Generation folks aren’t real keen on company parties to celebrate since it is taking time away from their private time if it is after hours.

    My belief, ask the employees how they want to be rewarded.

  • gloria


    I do agree with you that each employee is different, and that each one has a different reason for being motivated. But, independently of the type of the employee there must be a top management that enhances a general idea (ou multiple) of how important it is to be engaged and motivated in the company.
    Best regards

  • Good article. I would add that regular feedback is also very important in maintaining a motivated environment. People need to know how they are doing — and I totally agree with the positive feedback as often as possible. Catch people doing a good job = great motivator!

  • Whilst I agree with what’s been posted above, I think it boils down to one simple thing – show you care. This means:

    – working with the team on the company’s vision and objectives and ensuring that the individuals know what is expected of them and what they will get back in return;

    – ensuring individuals have the resources to do their jobs well – this applies to how much time they are given to achieve a task too;

    – encouraging workers’ development and talking to them about their ambitions and how they might learn and progress;

    – listening to individuals and demonstrating that their opinions count – and encouraging them to listen and appreciate the opinions of others;

    – giving them some flexibility to job craft – ie do the job but in a way that best suits their talents and style;

    – encouraging good interpersonal relationships and allowing strong bonds with co-workers and leaders to form;

    – encouraging everyone to commit to doing their best – and finding out the reasons if they don’t (and following this up with support, training, and other appropriate action);

    – and last but not least, encouraging a culture where everyone values each other – providing recognition or praise for doing good work.

  • L Pratt

    You need to promote motivation and provide continuous enggagement. The employees need to feel a sense of worthiness.

  • As a project manager who works with virtual teams, it is important to me to have a “wrap” party after a lengthy project. We recognize individual contributions, debrief what worked, and what was challenging, and celebrate the client’s happiness with our project work. I also send positive messages and highlight our team’s successes on weekly team calls. These and many other ideas are ways to keep our teams motivated, especially since we are not in the same city working face to face.

  • Raza Abbas

    Key element that often is ignored “actively listen” to each employee of your organization…people are hungry to be listened for… Secondly the line manager or supervisor should inspire the employees by walking the talk..

  • Mugwump

    Having been through the 90’s where we were developing leaner, meaner organizations, flattening the organization chart and downsizing (oops, sorry, right-sizing), I find the current concentration on engagement to be fascinating.

    In my parent’s day, and in the early days of my career, you worked for a single company your whole life and you were committed to that organization. It was a trust relationship, a community and you felt secure. Your friends were mostly from the organization and you did your best work, knowing that you would be promoted and taken care of.

    Then there was this huge upheaval and whether you were laid off, or kept your position, you lost your feeling of security. You suddenly realized that the organization actually felt no loyalty towards you whatsoever; you were a cost on the balance sheet, and expendable when the bottom line looked shaky. Instead of a community, it was just a job. People started to think that working for one employer wasn’t going to be their life. They became committed to themselves, worked on improving their skills, and kept an eye on other job opportunities.

    Now organizations are realizing that employees are no longer as committed to the organization as they were when they had that sense of community, security and trust. They have realized that employees aren’t always putting the organization first and they’re concerned, so there’s a big focus on employee engagement.

    Pardon my cynicism, but I think that they just didn’t think things through. I know the organization isn’t committed to me and I need to look out for myself. As long as the position is serving my needs I will stay, but I keep an eye on the job boards. As the saying goes “once bitten, twice shy”.

  • You are not be cynical, Mugwump; you are being genuine. The fact is that employers that try to engage employees superfluously, that is, they are not genuinely concerned with their employees well-being, then their efforts are not going to render the kind of engagement they desire.

    In order for a company to engage its employees so that the employees adopt the company’s objectives as its own, employers must understand that employees are the most powerful, effective, resource that they have. Once they understand that they must integrate a genuine sense of humanity into their organization (but again, the emphasis is on GENUINE), then gradually, over many years, everyone will begin to see that they are truly appreciated.

    Its funny isn’t it, how much some organization puts into its machinery, robots, equipment in order to maintain them so that they function well for as long as possible? Well that’s because it truly cares about those things right? Good ROI etc.

    The difference between caring for equipment and caring for human beings is that you don’t calculate depreciation on a human being, and you therefore don’t throw away a human being when its damaged.

    Employers might want to realize that if employees are truly part of their organization, they are part of their family, and as such, be treated accordingly. If you really care about one of yours then:
    1. When a person has a death in the family, give them paid time off to grieve (say, 3 days), maybe send flowers to the funeral or home.
    2. When a person has a baby, congratulate them, send flowers, provide some time off.
    3. If a person tells you that they are not feeling well, ask them if they want to go home. Assign someone else to take over, or do the remaining work yourself.
    4. Maybe someone on your team is having a bad day, dealing with problems at home, maybe marital problems, maybe troubling teenage child, maybe a sick child, maybe some bad debts or unpaid bills that they must take time off to pay, maybe problems with the bank, who knows. Whatever is troubling one of your employees, my suggestion is that you tell them to take the time off to take care of it. This will allow them to come back to work with a clear head, and ready to work.

    Employers will find that over the long run, a real family oriented environment develops, and that the troublesome employees that the company comes across every once in a while, will be exposed by the rest of “the family”.

    These are the policies and philosophy of my last employer, a company loved by all of its employees, who manifest absolute and genuine loyalty.

  • If there was “one thing” we need to do to motivate and engage, I’d say LOVE your people:

    L = Listen to them, Learn about them, Lead them.

    O = Give them Opportunities to shine, to grow, to take Ownership.

    V = Give them a Voice in how things are done. Share the Vision with them.

    E = Energize, Empower, and Engage them.

  • I think the key to this issue is leadership.

    If the leader has established a good vision that the team can believe in and is providing the empowerment that will allow everyone to hit the goals you will have a motivated team.

    In fact, when this is done correctly the tasks of “managing” are greatly reduced as team members are proactively working hard on the goal and doing their part.

  • Great comments! I think it comes down to creating results. Why one can be a good listener, give recognition etc, the leader him/herself need to be able to execute and create results and help others achieve results.

  • Dear Colleagues,

    Of course I agree that respect and individuality is important. Spending a little time each week to chat with individuals is important.

    Every employee that I’ve lead also has expressed a need to understand how their work contributes to the bigger picture. Good leadership needs to be able to take the daily tasks of employees and explain how that benefits the company as a whole.

    Praise is a delicate technique to apply with skill. Too much will be seen as shallow and false. Too little and employees may stop producing. Praise may also lead to unrealistic expectations that could lead to even greater issues within the team.

    Setting goals and expectations that employees can achieve and rolling up your sleeves to help them and/or ensuring that they get the training that they need to be successful is one of the best things that a manager can do.

    Paying employees for their hard work may be out of control of the manager, but other incentives may be available. Setting expectations for more money when it’s not within the pay scale or business plan could be the kiss of death for an inexperienced manager.

    Happy employees need more than just money; they need something called job satisfaction. To leave work at the end of the day feeling that they’ve accomplished something is probable worth more to any employee than a bucket full of money.


  • I have to agree with what everyone has stated above but I feel that there is one thing that is missing. Job Security. Especially in the most recent economic downturn, cost reduction has become the golden sword for most companies and all to often people are the first to go. I am still amazed that a company will hold onto a multimillion dollar piece of machinery because “we will need it if business ever picks up” yet cut people with centuries of experience to save in relative terms a few bucks. In our industry, everyone is doing more with less and it is not because of improvements that have been made. This has led to a lot of burn out especially in the front line management that is suppose to be developing and motivating the hourly team members. I remember when this recession started and Toyota made the news for taking the opportunity to train their team members and work on process improvements rather than do layoffs. That is what will motivate employees! Cuts and layoffs are a part of business and are often necessary. However, it doesn’t always need to be the first action taken. Taking the time to develop your teams and make improvements now will simply prepare you to become a stronger company that is ready for when business returns!

  • We mail flowers at all times for you to my personal mom, ex girlfriends mommy and granny pertaining to holidays, birthday celebrations and mommies morning. Many people constantly manage to appreciate all of them and its an easy and simple gift idea to send.

  • Yes the employee should get motivate.. i do agree