Incentra Insights

Time to Stretch Your Employee Engagement Muscles

Posted by David Chittock on Mar 23, 2015 10:11:00 AM

Spring Has Actually Arrived!


Well, we made it through another brutal winter.  Many of us have serious cabin fever.  We are itching to get out and stretch our muscles and breathe in some fresh and invigorating air.  We might be a little stiff and need to get limber again.  We want to get back to our peak performance levels.


Keeping Employee Engagement Fit


Your employee engagement program may need some stretching also.   It too may need some exercise to get in shape.  How you be sure that your employee engagement levels are remaining high?  Things may have slacked off over the long cold months.  It may be time to get moving again.


More than Recognition and Rewards


You know how important employee recognition is to employee engagement and the role rewards and incentives play in motivating and sustaining positive behaviors.  But, you also know that employee engagement is much more than this.  At its core, employee engagement is the desire of the employees to engage in meaningful work, challenge themselves to excel, continually stretch their capabilities, and acquire new skills and abilities.  And they want to do this within the framework of their organization’s core mission and goals.


The Workplace Culture and Environment


If your workplace culture isn’t stimulating your employees’ need to stretch themselves, your engagement levels are going to be pretty low. Things may have gotten a little boring and stale and you need to spark things up. This doesn’t mean demanding long hours, piling on additional workloads or requiring unrealistic deadlines.  Rather, this means creating an environment in which employees can challenge themselves to try new things, step into unfamiliar territory, and boldly go where they hadn’t ventured before.  Sound a bit risky?  Yes, and that’s why it will get your employees truly engaged.


No Limiting the Human Spirit


We humans were made to have aspirations and dreams far beyond ourselves.  It’s built into our DNA.  When we’re not give the opportunity to stretch our wings, we’ll never be able to get off the ground.  Employers have to provide a workplace culture that offers their employees an exciting array of both work-related and social endeavors that challenge their creativity and broaden their experience. Employees will rise to these occasions with renewed fervor and a desire to perform at their best.


Creating the Right Environment


Every organization’s culture is different and you’ll have to find the kind of stimulating opportunities that best fits yours. However, here are a few initiatives that can be adopted within most work environments:


  • Create an innovation task force that brings a teams of employees together to explore better ways to serve your customers and constituents.  It may be suggestions to improve your product or services or how you deliver them to your customers.  You’ll be amazed at the valuable ideas that will be generated


  • Provide opportunities for diverse work teams to collaborate and gain exposure and experience in new skill areas. This capability sharing is not only good for the employees; it will contribute positively to your organization’s performance.


  • Go overboard with your training budget. Make sure each employee is not only totally trained for his or her particular job, but also fully understands and embraces the company culture, mission and goals.  Also ensure that you provide a robust and generous career development program.


  • Encourage and promote social and community-based programs.  Sponsor events, fund raisers, and other volunteer programs that engage your employees in value-based initiatives that make them proud to be a member of your organization.  This good will spread out into the community as well.


Keep the Spirit Going


Once you start down this path, you will be gratified at how your employee engagement scores will soar.  The secret will be to keep the spirit going; to keep the opportunities continually evolving and maintain your employees’ high energy and involvement levels.  You’ll never go back to business as usual again!


Categories: Employee Engagement