Passion Drives Profitability: Five Avenues to Employee Engagement

One person with passion is better than forty men merely interested.”
— E. M. Forster

As an executive recruiter, I’ve learned that a passionate workforce is invaluable to an organization’s success. Yet, fostering employee engagement doesn’t always receive the time and consideration it deserves. Particularly in today’s candidate-driven employment market, employee engagement drives growth. Optimize your team’s potential with these five employee engagement ideas.

Invite innovation. If there is one approach guaranteed to increase engagement, it’s this one: listen to your employees! Dedicated employees should know that their voices are being heard, that their expertise is valued, and that they are integral to the company’s success. These individuals are more likely to invest emotionally, intellectually, and strategically in the organization’s long-term goals. Include employees in long-term planning to the greatest extent possible. Reward new approaches and smart risk-taking, and invest in professional development.

Foster real leadership. Employee engagement begins with great leaders. The most engaging managers are aware of their own strengths and weaknesses, open to new approaches, and good at communicating not only what needs to be done, but also why each task is important. Train managers to provide constructive feedback and how to gauge the pulse of their teams: effective communication goes both ways.

Build an employment brand. Learn to tell the story of your organization: where it came from, where it’s going, and why. Everyone should know where he or she fits into the big picture, and why each individual role is important to the organization’s achievement. Show your employees what sets your company apart from the rest, and why it’s a special place to work. Then, make sure that your corporate culture reflects that philosophy.

Develop a smart recruiting strategy. One of the best ways to increase employee engagement, not surprisingly, is to hire employees who are most likely to be engaged. Look for intellectual flexibility, curiosity, and a commitment to professional development in new hires. Make it clear that your organization values those qualities, and show candidates how they can grow their career potential at your company.

Don’t manipulate. Your employees are smart – that’s why you hired them! They can tell when they are being manipulated with gimmicky incentives and tedious corporate retreats. Engagement strategies should reward commitment and innovation while fostering a positive corporate culture. Drive collaboration rather than negative competition. Appeal to employees’ intellects and curiosity, rather than fixating on the bottom line.

Devoting thought, time, and resources to employee engagement can bring huge rewards at every level of your corporate structure. With these five tips, you’ll help your employees perform at the highest level.

How do you build employee engagement? What results can you share?


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