In today’s rapidly changing workforce, companies are continually looking for ways to engage their employees. Offices are spending more money than ever on engagement devices and perks, such as in-house masseuses, ping pong tables, unlimited time off and other benefits that would have been unheard of 20 years ago.
Don’t get me wrong, I would love to have a chocolate fondue fountain in the cafeteria on Tuesdays and Thursdays (yum) but that isn’t my reality; rather, engaging teams through transparency, recognition and gratitude can easily take the place of, and have a greater impact, than having a full time barista in the office.
Transparency:  “Why does our company exist?”  “Why is my job important?”  “Why am I sorting through these TPS reports?”  People want to be in the know more than ever, and it is our job as organizations to give people not only a clear vision of the company, but also why they are a pivotal part of the success of the company.
Recognition:  The key to recognition is knowing how people like to be recognized.  Making a recognition survey that is part of onboarding is one easy way to get an understanding of who likes public recognition and who would rather just have a nice, private lunch with the boss for a job well done.
Gratitude:  At Medix, one of our core values is locking arms to help each other achieve our goals. This means that we are always helping one another out through teamwork and collaboration.  That is just who we are, but we know that we must never take others willingness to lock arms for granted.  Randy Pausch in his last lecture teaches us that “showing gratitude is one of the simplest yet most powerful things humans can do for each other.” *
Employee engagement can be about which physical items and freebies you give them, but the greater impact comes from the intangible things; the way you treat employees and interact with coworkers will have a greater impact on them than any passing promotion (or chocolate fountain) could ever have.
*If you haven’t watched Randy Pausch’s last lecture, please do; it will be the best thing you see today.  Here is a version he did for Oprah:
Mike is Director of People and Performance at Medix. Through his passion for corporate culture research, Mike has locked arms with the Medix blog as a contributor, sharing his insights into how companies can better engage with their employees.