Five steps to successful employee engagement

In my last blog post, I discussed the three primary drivers of employee engagement in organizations today:

  • Relationship with immediate supervisor
  • Belief in senior leadership
  • Pride in working for one’s company

Today, the focus is on the five steps for successful employee engagement, all driven by senior leaders:

Step 1: Create a culture that encourages engagement

Senior leaders are the visible face of the organization. They set strategic and cultural goals and steer the company in the right direction to achieve their vision. Through positive attitudes and actions, they can build a culture of engagement that involves and inspires all employees. They create an atmosphere that encourages teamwork, open communication, and voicing of opinions.

Step 2: Measure engagement periodically

Leverage town hall meetings, one-on-one interviews, surveys, and other feedback mechanisms to measure employee satisfaction and engagement. This is not a one-time event so much as an ongoing process. Encourage employee feedback and follow through on results.

Step 3: Develop action plans to address disengagement

Organizational level: Behaviors and goals need to be clearly defined, realistic for employees to achieve, and communicated throughout the organization by senior leaders. The goal is to create a shared sense of responsibility for organizational success.

Departmental level: Each team or department needs to understand how its roles and tasks fit into the organizational vision. Use the diversity of skills, experiences, and backgrounds within the team to create an enthusiastic and innovative environment. Build a climate of trust within the team, ensuring that the necessary feedback supervisors give is well received and improves overall performance.

Individual level: Think of employees as internal customers. They are the key assets in implementing and maintaining the culture of positive engagement. Determine how each individual’s personal ambition aligns with organizational goals.

Step 4: Hold everyone accountable

Establish parameters, solicit feedback, and involve immediate managers to evaluate and act on action plans on an individual level. Employees are responsible for their own actions and interactions with co-workers, and this contributes to a positive work environment. Respectful peer feedback builds engagement throughout the team.

Step 5: Recognize and reward progress

All employees want their contributions to be recognized. Set realistic targets and reward managers and employees who increase productivity and build enthusiasm. Reward commitment, passion, the attainment of goals, and discretionary effort. Customize recognition to be more meaningful to different segments of the organization. Recognition and praise, in addition to physical incentives, promote engagement.




Effective senior leaders recruit the right people for the job, motivate them by giving them clear goals and responsibilities, and train them throughout their careers. Leaders who trust their people, communicate regularly and positively with them, and recognize and reward their work tend to build an engaged workforce that gives their organization a competitive advantage.

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