Engaging employees: Our tips to boost your team

how motivating employees

Engaging employees is a management goal. As such, it should be among the priorities of any manager but it also concerns any leader or any business, no matter its size. Employees are indeed the backbone of any company and if they are not motivated, the company as a whole is just not fulfilling its potential. Besides, relying on disengaged employees is like building on sand foundations. To help you prevent that risk, we have selected our best tips to increase employee engagement. But before that, let’s see what engaged employees can do for your business.

Product Manager – Coachyz
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how to motivate employees

The importance of engaging employees

Engaging employees: What does it mean?

Employee engagement is a lot more than job satisfaction. it encompasses the whole extent of an employee’s commitment, motivation, and emotional investment in their work and their company’s success. Engaged employees are driven by goals which align with the company’s vision. Engaged employees share the same values, and have a clear understanding of their responsibilities.

Managers play a vital role in nurturing employee engagement because they represent the company authority. Employee engagement shouldn’t be viewed as a strategy but rather as an intrinsic emotional connection and dedication to the organization, inspiring employees to excel and contribute to its prosperity.

It is not just another buzzword; it’s a critical factor that can significantly impact the success and sustainability of any business. A highly engaged workforce offers a myriad of benefits. Let’s review the three main ones.

Stronger corporate culture

Strong employee engagement contributes to the development of a robust corporate culture. When employees feel connected to their work and the organization’s mission, they are more likely to embody and herald its values. This shared sense of purpose creates a cohesive and unified environment where everyone is working towards common goals.

As a result, engaged employees are more likely to collaborate, communicate effectively and support one another, thereby strengthening interpersonal relationships and fostering a positive work culture. This, in turn, leads to higher levels of morale, job satisfaction, and a greater sense of belonging among employees.

Better performance

Organizations with engaged employees tend to experience better performance across the board. Engagement equates to motivation which translates to increased productivity, and more commitment to delivering high-quality work.

When your employees are motivated they take ownership of their roles, demonstrate initiative, and go above and beyond to achieve results. Moreover, as a 2022 NCBI research shows, engaged employees are more likely to innovate, problem-solve creatively, and adapt to change, driving continuous improvement and long-term organizational success.

Decrease employees turnover

Employee engagement also plays a central role in decreasing employee turnover rates. When employees are genuinely satisfied with their work, they are less likely to seek opportunities elsewhere.

This is understandable because engaged employees form stronger bonds with their colleagues and the organization, making them more loyal and committed to staying long- term. Moreover, organizations that prioritize employee engagement often also invest in:

  • creating supportive work environments;
  • providing opportunities for growth and career development;
  • rewarding employees for their contributions.

These efforts not only enhance employee retention but also attract top talent, as engaged
employees become brand ambassadors who speak highly of their workplace environment and experiences.

motivating employees

Motivate your employees: Our best tips

Set achievable & measurable goals

As we already said, goal alignment with the company’s overarching vision is core to the concept of employee engagement. In other words, if you want to have professionally satisfied and committed employees, they need to have a good understanding of your company’s vision.

This can be done by establishing clear, measurable goals and involving employees in the goal-setting process. Establish a roadmap:

  • what to achieve?
  • how much to deliver?
  • how much budget do they have?
  • when do they have to deliver

Don’t forget to include managers too, as they are instrumental in clarifying tasks and expectations, empowering employees to take ownership of their responsibilities.

Provide them with the adequate tools. For instance, onboarding software and e-learning platforms empowers HR professionals to effectively transmit the company’s objectives and aspirations to new hires from day one. You may also want to consider training yourself as well as your teams to setting-goal methodologies such as V2MOM or OKR.

Encourage teamwork

Building a strong team not only provides a sense of purpose but also encourages employees to innovate. Collaborating allows for the exchange of ideas, boosting productivity and confidence among team members within the company. Plus, it streamlines processes and operations since communication is enhanced.

To foster a culture of shared goals and interests, there are various actionable measures:

  • investing in top-notch project management tools;
  • brainstorming sessions;
  • valuing voluntary projects.

Team-building activities constitute another catalyst for employee engagement and cooperation as it helps members break down barriers and build trust.

In every collective environment, simple gestures like encouraging team members to voice their needs during meetings, can significantly enhance collaboration and accountability within the team. You can also encourage teamwork by facilitating informal socialization opportunities (afterwork get-togethers for instance) or promoting open communication channels for feedback and suggestions, as we’ll see in some of our other tips!

Help employees find purpose

Often, employees join a company mainly for the paycheck, but it is not always the case. As you get to know your team members better, you may discover their personal interests and aspirations. Employees are more than just resources; they are individuals with unique values and potential. If you view them as mere commodities, you overlook the essence of human capital.

When employees feel emotionally connected to the brand, they invest more personally and contribute significantly. Indeed, purpose is a powerful motivator. People thrive when they believe in the cause they commonly serve.

It’s worth considering whether there are opportunities within the company where their additional skills could be applied. For instance, could a customer service representative with a knack for social media management help enhance the company’s online presence? Or maybe a data entry clerk possesses hidden talents in data analysis that could benefit the analytics team.

Performance management tools can demonstrate how their tasks contribute to team and organizational objectives. Regular check-ins with managers further reinforce your employees’ sense of purpose as long as these meetings are genuinely used as an open communication opportunity.

Offer training & development opportunities

To further help them find purpose, you need to support employees’ ongoing learning and skills development. Continuous upskilling is essential for motivating and engaging employees, as it is when you feel you are not evolving anymore that you start to lose the will to perform at the best of your abilities.

For instance, providing opportunities for attending industry events and modern negotiation skills training programs demonstrates you are committed to their growth.

Be transparent & provide clarity

To ensure your employees keep an interest in the company’s performance, it’s crucial to keep them informed about:

  • achievements;
  • challenges;
  • areas needing improvement.

Transparency regarding both successes and setbacks provide your employees with opportunities to contribute ideas and remain proactive in addressing weaknesses while enhancing strengths.

Similarly, effective communication is vital. Poor communication in the workplace can lead to various negative outcomes, such as:

  • project delays;
  • low morale;
  • missed goals.

To mitigate these risks, you should prioritize open and transparent communication, especially during complex situations like organizational change. Clear explanations of the reasons behind changes, regular progress updates, and opportunities for dialogue can help your employees feel valued and engaged amid transitions.

Transparency is also key to building trust. Concealing information on a “need-to-know” basis should be the exception, not the rule. You should, as much as possible, share insider information and involve employees in discussions about the company’s future.

Yet, measuring and improving employee engagement requires proactive efforts. Regular discussions with employees to understand their motivations and concerns is good practice you should consider implementing. Try to do it while they are still in your company! Exit interviews can provide valuable insights, but are far less effective for retention and morale than addressing issues as soon as they arise, or better yet, before they arise.

Provide a sense of security in the workplace

If you want to motivate employees, you will absolutely need to create a comfortable, safe, and inclusive environment.

If they operate in a performance-driven environment, people will be most likely subject to fear and uncertainty, which is a huge obstacle to engagement. How can you expect employees to be willing to do their best for an organization where they have to fear for their job all the time? How can they trust anyone if the motto is “every person for themselves”?

To attract and retain talent, it’s crucial to prioritize building an engaging and psychologically safe work environment. Part of this mission involves celebrating diversity and inclusivity but you should also consider specific approaches such as EQ management and conflict management.

You may also want to grant some autonomy in decision-making without fear of repercussions to encourage a bit of risk-taking. Don’t forget to give fair performance reviews.

When hiring, prioritize attitude and cultural fit alongside experience and competence to ensure employee alignment with company values and reduce turnover costs. As a whole, try to develop a positive company culture.

Create a healthy office environment

Just like mental health, physical health needs to be protected too as investing in employee wellbeing sets your business up for success. Workplace health, fitness or wellness programs play a pivotal role in attracting and retaining talent while bolstering both overall business and employee performance.

From offering gym discounts to arranging office yoga sessions and providing healthier meal alternatives, there are various ways to support employee health. Initiatives like ‘walk and talk’ meetings, which encourage movement and fresh air, can significantly motivate your employees. Workshops on nutrition and stress management can also be a valuable action for creating a healthy office environment.

Ask your employees for feedback

We already partially covered it in our previous tips, listening to employees is just as essential as listening to customers. But the thing is that unlike customers, employees tend to avoid openly voicing their fear, discontent or even aspirations, not to their managers or bosses anyway.

This is why regular meetings to pinpoint areas needing improvement in the workplace might be a really good idea. Company questionnaire surveys or monthly gatherings thus provide employees with a platform to express their opinions.

Asking for feedback from your employees is necessary but make sure their concerns are addressed promptly. Neglecting internal issues sends a negative message to staff and risks disengagement.

Besides, encouraging feedback further promotes open communication and transparency, but it also contributes to the afore-mentioned sense of security. Most measures we cover in this article are interconnected : improving one dimension helps your organization across the board.

Offer autonomy & flexible work schedules

As a leader, empowering your teams to take charge is the best way to instill passion and excellence in their work. Trust them with important tasks without micromanaging them and they’ll grow and have confidence. Even if outcomes aren’t perfect, offer constructive feedback, it will help them develop and feel valued.
On a connected topic, flexible work arrangements, like adjustable hours and remote work options, are proven to boost employee satisfaction, loyalty, and productivity. These kinds of arrangements also:

  • bring a healthier work-life balance;
  • minimize conflicts;
  • enhance performance (through a healthier work environment);
  • attract talents.

Be an available leader

Whether through formal training sessions or casual conversations, investing time in building relationships with team members is key to achieving success. Obviously, it might be a lot more difficult for a CEO of a thousand employees company than a small familial business but you should find time to connect with at least some of your employees, and not just the C suite. This is important in so many regards:

  • to encourage and receive feedback;
  • to facilitate transparency and communication;
  • to be in position to provide guidance;
  • to be able to offer the right opportunities to the right persons;
  • to build trust;
  • to lead by example.

Recognize great work & celebrate results

Recognizing and appreciating employees’ efforts and contributions after successful projects is fundamental for employee engagement. It further reinforces their sense of value within your company and boosts morale and retention rates. Of course, your recognition efforts should be tailored to your staff, but here are a few ideas:

  • verbal praise, a ‘great job on this one’ can go a long way ;
  • more formal recognition programs like employee appreciation days or bonuses.

Creating a culture of recognition is all the more so essential as many employees feel undervalued and may not reach their full potential without it. Whether through tangible rewards or heartfelt appreciation, recognizing employees’ achievements aligns with the “employees are more than resources” philosophy.

Public recognition can be particularly impactful because it tends to inspire others to excel. If it’s done fairly, consistently and properly, acknowledging good work can also strengthen team dynamics and foster meaningful relationships among employees.

motivate employees

Surely, you have noticed by now that each and every employee engagement strategy is part of a virtuous circle where every action you take has a positive impact on many levels. Like encouraging feedback contributes to transparency which in turn helps in providing a sense of security and so forth.

Your employees are not the only ones who can benefit from continuous self improvement. Just like any other company member, leaders and managers need to evolve. If you want to learn how to hone your management skills and improve as a decision-maker, then get started with CoachYZ!

how motivating employees
Product Manager – Coachyz

Coaching remains an essential tool in our toolbox, despite the ever-changing professional world. In the digital age, our approach has evolved from simply informing journalists to delivering rich, engaging content directly to our target audience. Good coaching must be personalized, relevant and adapted to the digital world to ensure optimal online visibility. What’s more, the incorporation of multimedia supports such as videos, images and interactive links can considerably enhance its impact. 

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Inspiring and motivating employees involves fostering a positive work culture, recognizing achievements, providing opportunities for growth, and effective communication. Encourage autonomy, set clear goals, and lead by example. Regular feedback, incentives, and a supportive environment cultivate a sense of purpose and drive among team members, leading to enhanced performance and satisfaction.

There is no universal formula. First you need to find out why they are underperforming. The best is to ask them directly, provided that they feel safe telling you. There are many potential reasons so don’t assume anything. If you can’t get a direct answer, avoid pressuring them, it won’t make things any better. But in general, if you ask honestly, employees will be happy to tell you why they don’t feel motivated.

Firstly, recognition of their efforts is paramount, as it fosters a culture of appreciation. Setting clear, achievable goals provides direction and purpose. Offering development opportunities allows for skill enhancement and career progression. Granting autonomy instills confidence and a sense of ownership. Finally, providing incentives rewards exceptional performance, fueling ongoing dedication and productivity.

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