How to Engage Employees - Part 1

If employee engagement is defined as "winning the hearts and minds of your employees," how in the world do you do that?

Since the answer is multi-faceted, this entry will be the first in a series. To start, let's talk about dreams.

Consultant Matthew Kelly has written a marvellous little book called The Dream Manager, that was recommended to me by Judy McLeish at the Employee Engagement Network. (Thanks Judy!)

In his book, Kelly tells the story of a company, struggling with a terrible turnover problem, that discovers a simple yet powerful solution: ask employees what their dreams are and then try to help them fulfill those dreams. By doing this incredibly positive thing, not only does the turnover problem improve, but the company's profitability soars.

Judy McLeish wrote: "I found that (Kelly's book) offered so many ideas on how to engage individuals regardless of the type of work that they do. So many Executives struggle with how to engage their frontline employees and delivering dreams is such a positive way to actually engage them."

Interestingly, this idea is consistent with one of Dr. Judy Bardwick's ideas for engaging employees, customize rewards and benefits for your employees.

So Idea # 1 for Managers who are looking for ways of engaging employees is, Ask them about their dreams. Listen and ponder the answers. Then ask yourself, How can I help them to reach their dreams?

Posted by Terrence Seamon, Mar 15, 2008


David Zinger said…
Dreams can be a good start in engagement. I often think about the intersection of meaning, purpose, and strength also as a good pathway to engagement. I think many managers probably feel uncomfortable talking about dreams but maybe they should wake up to this.
Terrence Seamon said…
I'm sure you're right, David, that many would feel uncomfortable talking about dreams. But if they read Kelly's book, they'll see that there is nothing to fear. And much to gain.


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