Building Employee Engagement – 8 Quick Tips

Building employee engagement through recognition.

Building a culture full of recognition and appreciation will help keep employees engaged. A Glassdoor study shows that 80% of employees work harder and stay longer with employers that show appreciation for their work. While fair pay is important to retain your top talent, today’s employees put an increasing value on meaningful and validated work. Both formal and informal expressions of appreciation will help build relationships, enhance self-esteem, and foster creativity. Below are 8 best practices for building employee engagement through recognition.

1. Express your appreciation consistently. Create a broad list of phrases that encourage positive behaviors and recognize efforts and achievements. Avoid playing favorites and remember to recognize all employees for their contributions. If you have trouble pinpointing good behaviors, qualities or work from a specific employee, you may have a larger issue to address.

2. Use a simple recognition formula to celebrate desired behaviors.

Description of specific behavior +
Identification of positive impact +
Thanks =

Let’s say an employee takes the initiative to enhance their report with a nice visual aid. You may say, “I see that you converted the statistics to graphs in your report. Senior leadership will more easily understand your conclusions with visual aids. Great job!”

3. Take the time to coach employees to help their build skills. Employees will find this most useful when they face a particularly difficult task or a project that may be outside of their comfort zone or area of expertise.

4. Encourage employees to take on projects for which they have passion. These are areas in which they are more likely to become engaged and motivated.

5. Show interest in your employees’ personal lives. Everyone has unique interests, hobbies and other areas of his or her personal lives that may spark passion. Learning more about what your employees are passionate about will help develop a more meaningful relationship with them. Periodically ask them about those things. You may also opt to include significant others or family members in company-wide events when possible.

6. Surprise employees. Share your appreciation with handwritten notes or a kind gesture when they least expect it.

7. Consider employees as colleagues and equals. Everyone wants to be respected. The tone of your voice can be very important. Sometimes a statement may come out sounding condescending when that was not the intention.

8. Make sure that the expression of appreciation is meaningful and sincere. Too much of a good thing can cheapen the experience. When you praise someone for the sake of praise alone, employees will know, and it can have the opposite effect of the original intent.

Need more guidance on building employee engagement?

If you struggle with building employee engagement or creating your desired corporate culture and truly want to create an exceptional workplace – we would love to partner with you. Tandem HR is an IRS certified professional employer organization (CPEO) providing custom HR solutions to hundreds of small and mid-sized businesses. Our experts handle payroll, benefits, risk management, and employee relations so that busy executives can focus on revenue-generating activities. Contact Tandem HR for a FREE consultation today at 630.928.0510 or