Engaging employees is one of the toughest challenges for organizations. Top research analysts like Josh Bersin also emphasis on employee engagement as one of the key priorities.
The Internet is full of blogs, articles and case studies on “Tips to Engage Employees.” They talk about deploying talent management systems to rewarding and recognizing the hard work, and some skew towards selling some of their services, especially vendor blogs. All of these advice requires a lot of budget and intervention from management, so it doesn’t work every time.
In my 15 years of career, I have experienced excellent managers and have managed several teams. Here is what I have found are the practical activities that any manager can do to motivate and engage the team and individual members.
- Daily Tea / Coffee breaks with team members.
- Regularly have lunch together, whenever possible.
- Celebrate the birthday of team members with cake cutting ceremony (with contribution from the team).
- Organize/play some indoor games on a monthly basis.
- Conduct casual team meetings without notice and discuss performance.
- Whenever you gain some knowledge or get a piece of information, share it with team members in person.
- Immediately recognize a good work with clapping publically & place thank you notes on the employee desks.
- When you see some employees struggling with the personal challenge, ask the team to help them. The act of kindness brings more loyalty than a financial incentive.
- Watch motivating movies with the team.
- Conduct a 15 Minutes formal information sharing meeting a week with the team.
Example: Manish Gupta, CEO G-Cube has made it a practice to socialize with team members on Coffee Sessions. He practices it not only with his direct reports but as a CEO he does it with all and sundry. It makes a difference.
Take Away: You can motivate and engage team only by showing genuine concern towards each team member. Company sponsored big-budget motivational initiatives comes once a while, a cup of tea is available all the time.