I’ve worked in a few rewarding (and less rewarding) jobs, but I don’t think I became fully aware of the term ‘employee engagement’, much less the concept, until I moved to London last year. Such as it is, here are my two (three) cents on getting more out of employees. I’ve even managed to crowbar them into one consonant:
Make your employees responsible for things. Sometimes, give them so much responsibility that it scares them (and maybe even you) a little bit. This is probably good for them (and you). They’ll either rise to the challenge or decide they are better off elsewhere. Either way, you can guarantee they won't be bored.
I’m 25 years old and still surrounded by stories of endless internships and miserly wages. The wide-eyed, please-sir-can-I-have-some-more attitude will only last so long and eventually gets in the way of discovering full employee potential. And it’s not just cash I’m talking about; give your employees the time to do their jobs and the opportunity to explore the business, you might be surprised by what they come up with.
No-one else has more power to make your life an abject misery than your workmates. Given you will spend an absurd amount of time over the course of your lifetime in the company of these (initially) total strangers, you’d best make sure you get on, particularly if you'll be indulging in long hours. I don't think there's a straight answer to building a close-knit team other than perhaps a perceptive interviewer, but people make or break a job.
You can drop several hundred of thousand dollars on electric cars or stick a fooseball table in the foyer, but you'll find more truly, usefully engaged employees via the above. But I'm just a beginner really, what do you think? Is there a magic bullet for engaging your employees? Should I abandon my burgeoning career in employee engagement before it's too late? Let me know in the comments below.