7 Tips to Increasing Employee Engagement

Posted On: July 25, 2016

You’ve tried everything. You’ve created impressive PowerPoints with colorful slides; you’ve taken teams of employees out to upscale restaurants for lunch; you’ve even offered prizes to employees who make the most sales or show motivation for their team’s goals. In spite of all your efforts, however, it seems like something is missing from your teams of employees. They just don’t have the productivity and drive that you envisioned in your workplace. 

If you have employees who are not engaged in their daily work, you are not alone. According to Dale Carnegie (, 71% of all US workers are not fully engaged in their work. This means that on a task force of 10 people, only 3 actually believe that what they are doing is important and want to contribute to the company’s goals. Employee engagement has become an issue all across the country, leaving countless leaders and CEOs at a loss for ways to inspire their employees to get on board with the mission of their company.

Perhaps it is time to think outside the cubicle when it comes to engaging employees. Sure, offering a new Xbox or a restaurant gift certificate to the salesperson who brings in the most sales of the month is going to inspire some competition and might even boost the company’s profit temporarily, but it will not truly engage those sales representatives. If you are looking for ways to inspire genuine interest in your employees, they need to feel something deeper than a desire to sell more than their officemates. They need to have a real connection with the company and its purpose and goals.

This need for connection to the purpose and goals of a company is a characteristic of many workers in the Millennial generation, a generation that is quickly taking over the work force. A study done by PricewaterhouseCooper ( found that, although salary and benefits were important, one of the most significant factors influencing their decision to accept a position is the reputation of the company. Millennials tend to be motivated by purpose and integrity and want to have jobs that not only provide them with a living salary, but also make them feel like they are contributing to something meaningful. Therefore, it is crucial that employers reach out and make connections with these potential workers, and continue to foster those connections once they have been hired.

Here are several suggestions for new and surprising ways to increase your company’s employee engagement:

  1. Have an authentic story. Or, as Engage for Success puts it, a “strategic narrative about the organization, that is compelling and authentic, provided by leaders who are empowering and visible.” If you truly want your employees to be engaged in their work, they need to feel that connection to the company’s story, and they need to hear it from you, their leader.
  2. Include families. Invite people to bring their spouses, partners, children, grandchildren to the company picnic, and bring your own family. People are motivated when they see similarities between themselves and their leaders. What better way to find similarities than to have families meet?
  3. Discover the core purpose of your company. ( Once discovered, communicate it regularly to all employees. When people (including CEOs) know the primary purpose for what they are doing, they will feel more pride in a job well done and be more motivated and engaged.
  4. Survey, but keep it short and follow through. ( It is important for company leaders to find out what people think about the company. But just as important is the action that is taken after the surveys have been collected. When people are asked their opinion, they expect to be listened to and to see change.
  5. Get “in the trenches.” Some company CEOs, Presidents and VPs have been known to spend a day in the life of one of their employees. This role change shows that they are willing to see things the way they really are, and can dramatically boost your company’s morale
  6. Genuine interest and care. This goes for all employees. It seems so simple, but people want to be treated well. When they are treated well, they will be more engaged. Give people a card on their birthday or celebrate anniversaries of the date they started working for you.
  7. Give authentic (not necessarily positive) feedback. Even when feedback is productive criticism, employees feel respected when you take the time to actually look at what they are doing and give suggestions for how to do it better.

So before you throw in the towel in the battle for the engagement of your employees, consider going back to the basics and finding ways to motivate them from the inside out. You’ll find that, although it may not reap immediate benefits, your employee engagement and retention will bring great rewards. Contact Docherty Incentives & Meetings to find more ideas on how to increase your company’s employee engagement.