3 Ways to Engage Employees Before Performance Problems Arise

Posted by Julie • July 5, 2016 (Last modified July 29, 2018) • 3 min read

Engaging employees is a widely discussed business strategy and considering how much better an engaged workforce performs, there’s really no question as to why. Engagement is more than just a happy or productive team. A team who no longer feels motivated to hit goals or push the employment envelope will eventually create barriers for progress. It’s never too late to circumvent disengagement and inspire company performance. Here are 3 actionable ways to begin today:


Assign a new project to team members…and continue building on those responsibilities

If Dilbert taught us anything, it’s that people like to look busy and slide their way through the day. Of course, that is just a clever cartoon and not reality but we can take some wisdom from the comic.

Today’s workforce not only wants a challenge, they want continuous challenges and responsibilities. When asked what would increase engagement 27% of employees said more opportunities followed by 20% looking for career development opportunities and training. Employees are looking for growth and if your organization is not trying to find a way to satisfy that need for development, you can bet some of your most talented team members are looking to spread their wings with someone else.


Read these feedback tips for guiding employees to clearer career progression.


Schedule performance meetings…and then schedule more for the future

When you hear “frequent feedback,” we usually picture the classic, formal performance appraisal process in which an hour of manager and employee time is spent across a desk from each other, going over numbers and expectations. With that image in mind, there’s no wonder companies claim there’s no way they can make time to implement such a strategy.


Tweet This: Today’s workforce not only wants a challenge, they want continuous challenges & responsibilities.

While those meetings should remain bi-yearly or annual, monthly or bi-monthly reviews should have a far different agenda. The focus of the more frequent meetings in between the formal appraisals should surround tactical approaches to an employee’s career progression or departmental concerns. And if there’s no issues to resolve, fill the time with kudos over a job well done.


Read more on how managers are key to successful performance management.


Say thank you to every team member…and set a calendar of appreciation

Speaking of a job well done, appreciating your team and coworkers is one of the best motivators of performance there is. While saying thank you is a no-brainer, actual acts of appreciation sometimes find their way to the backburner. Find a way to remind yourself to always be thinking about the last time you showed your team how important they are. Place a post-it note reading, “Have I thanked my team lately?” in your drawer or set calendar reminders. Just be sure your approach to appreciation is genuine.


Tweet This: #ManagementTip: Remind yourself to show your team how important they are.

When we plan things, the magic behind the act can sometimes be lost, so mix it up. You may have a reminder on your calendar for every second Tuesday of the month, but that doesn’t mean you carry out the idea then. Throw in variety in the form of appreciation too. For example, host a luncheon one month, but write handwritten notes to your employees the next one.


Hint: Rely on the time of year for an organic approach. Often, teams are excited about the return of their favorite seasonal activities. Popsicles for summer days and bonfires for fall evenings can lead to real cost saving fun.


43% of the most “highly engaged workers have a weak or lukewarm intention to stay. Understand that just because your employees seem engaged doesn’t mean they are happily performing. That’s right, you might have motivated employees who are open to new employment. Don’t be discouraged! Instead, be communicative with a well-rounded performance management strategy. Drop our team at Trakstar an email if you need a little guidance on how to start building one.

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