Employee Engagement: Keeping Your Employees Passionate

Dr. Ryan Giffen

Oftentimes, the idea of employee engagement is ignored by businesses. Businesses will hire an employee and will not attempt to keep the employee interested in work. Due to the lack of care of employee engagement, employee retention will skyrocket downward. The more a business applies employee engagement ideas into the workplace, the longer they will keep that employee. 

What is Employee Engagement? 

You might think that employee engagement is referring to employee happiness or satisfaction, but it isn’t. Employee engagement actually involves the emotional commitment that an employee has for their business and its goals. This employee isn’t just working because they have to, or because they need to make money. The employee works to help the business reach its goals. For example, an engaged worker will stay and work overtime without complaint, or pick up a shift when asked because they want to help out. 

Immediate Engagement 

When you hire a new employee, put them out onto the floor immediately with a mentor to shadow. Having the employee shadow a mentor will help them through their first few days. By placing an employee out in the thick of things, they will feel a stronger connection to what they are doing. It is hard for new hires to feel that they are part of the team when they are stuck on the bench, waiting for a chance to work. 

Additional Training

Brad Shuck, an assistant professor at the University of Louisville, states that “the more an employee feels the company is investing in their future, the higher the level of engagement.” Your employees are looking for constant growth and want to see themselves rising in their careers. By providing regular training, you are giving them that continuous chance to learn more that can be applied in the workplace. This will not only provide them with more skills to use at work but will also give them the sense that they belong with your business and motivate them. 

Employee Recognition 

Recognizing that an employee is doing a good job is one of the most effective employee engagement ideas. Positive feedback and rewards are great ways of reminding an employee that they are valued. Holding meetings each month that include a moment of appreciation towards your employees will make them feel valued and increase engagement. 

Recognizing your employees can also be more personal. Have your employees mark their birthdays down on the office calendar and make sure to wish them a happy birthday. Going out of your way to have a small celebration with cupcakes or cake will go a long way for your employees. Writing a small message in a holiday card and giving them to each employee is another great way of recognizing their efforts. You are aiming to show your employees that you recognize them as an individual. 

Social Engagement 

Celebrate the holidays with an office themed party. Having your employees play games like Secret Santa or White Elephant will give you and the entire office the chance to interact. Even outside of the holidays, you might have an office outing, such as bowling. These situations will give you time to get to know your employees and make them feel valued. Your employees are all a part of your team. By holding social outings, you are strengthening this sense of teamwork between them. 

About Dr. Ryan Giffen

With over 20 years of experience, Dr. Ryan Giffen is an expert in human relations and business culture. His career began in hospitality, leading operations and human resource departments for Fortune 500 companies and the like. Not long after, Ryan found his passion for teaching and consulting. He earned a Ph.D. in Hospitality Management with a Human Resources focus from Iowa State University and now works as an assistant professor at California State University, Long Beach. For over a decade, he continues to research and speak on organizational culture, relationship intelligence, and leadership effectiveness. Ryan is also the founder of Inospire, a company helping bosses and employees build stronger relationships with one another.  Lastly, Dr. Giffen is producer and host of the Corporate Shadow Podcast. a show helping everyday employees overcome workplace nonsense.