Like any complex challenge, employee engagement depends on a lot of factors but you don’t have to read every bit of research to incorporate good high value low cost tactics.
Research and Employee Engagement Strategies?
Research studies describe motivators differently and what they measure isn’t uniform which makes it tough to simplify actionable suggestions for your employee engagement strategies. The nature of work has changed in the last couple of decades complicating the relevance of older human resource data in light of a different societal lens and different working conditions.
You create short term bumps in productivity and execution with carrots and sticks…but employees are responsible for their own motivation.
People either feel invested or they don’t. Engagement at it’s core is determined by the emotional connection someone feels with the work they do.
Why tackle engagement if it’s a moving target?
The bottom line is there are strategic workplace challenges that won’t get significantly better unless someone cares enough to change how they/you are doing business…and…you can’t mandate caring.
In my experience I found 3 factors that sustained someone’s emotional connection:
- They saw their work as relevant to something that they felt was important.
- They enjoyed respectful and deep relationships with their team mates.
- They enjoyed personal challenge and wanted to learn and grow.
The rank of importance for these was different for different people, and changed with circumstances. Engagement is not formulaic.
Let the experts explore the finer points of human science and engagement. Read the studies, but don’t wait for simple solutions. There aren’t any.
But there are things you can do to move toward better engagement.
I like field trips because people can connect with how what they do matters. If done informally field trips deepen collegial relationships. For people who want to learn and grow, field trips can give an individual a glimpse of how to grow beyond today’s job description.
Are they an all encompassing solution? Of course not.
But they can be a fun and effective tactic for your employee engagement strategies.