How to Boost Employee Engagement

Employee engagement returns to the agenda of HR departments and executives on a frequent basis. After all, happy and engaged employees are more productive. Organizations spend millions of dollars to measure the engagement level of their staff and develop programs to improve their scores, but oftentimes they face disappointment when their efforts don’t bear fruit.

The problem, however, may be in the way organizations approach engagement surveys. Adopting a new approach to this indisputably important measurement can give individuals the ability to sustainably boost engagement throughout an organization, regardless of size, geography, or industry.

What can the company do to engage employees more?

Most organizations concentrate on answering this question. Their programs focus on delivering fair pay and benefits, providing tools and resources, and creating a safe and pleasant work environment. These are all critical factors; however, they address only half of the equation that makes employees engaged.

Now, let’s examine the other half.

What should employees do to engage themselves?

Many organizations fail to address this question, yet the consequences are apparent. Employees working for an organization are reinforced to believe that the company should make their life better. As a result, they don’t make any effort to change their behavior and situations. They may be more engaged for a while with a new program or higher pay, but soon the novelty wears off, and they are back to their old default.

The required paradigm shift is to help employees recognize their responsibility for working on their own engagement.

The following set of active engagement questions were developed to help Fortune 100 leaders and their teams in recognizing and improving their behavior and engagement:

Marshall Goldsmith’s Active Engagement Questions

  1. Did I do my best to set clear and specific goals?
  2. Did I do my best to make progress towards my goals?
  3. Did I do my best to be happy?
  4. Did I do my best to find meaning?
  5. Did I do my best to build positive relationships?
  6. Did I do my best to be fully engaged?

You can guide employees to the awareness of their commitment to engagement by having them ask themselves these six simple questions every day. What these questions uncover is that the critical factor to improved engagement starts from the inside of the employee.

Shifting away from a passive stance on engagement, the employee is empowered to proactively seek out how they themselves can make the difference and thus activate their own initiative to make things better.


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