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Engaging Employees

Communication is the key to keeping employees engaged and motivated in the workplace. By keeping the lines of communication open and well established you prevent much of the negativity or unproductive behaviour often associated with disengaged employees.

The Benefits

The benefits of engaged employees are:

  • the employees are more committed to the organization;
  • the work is more productive;
  • the company is more profitable;
  • the company is better able to provide superior customer service;
  • the workplace is a more safety conscious environment;
  • the actions of employees are more likely to encourage other employees to want to do great work;
  • the company becomes more attractive as a workplace.


The following tips will provide you with some strategies to help keep your employees engaged in the workplace:

  • Keep managers and supervisors well informed.
  • Encourage employees to approach managers and supervisors with ideas, concerns and questions.
  • Let employees know what is happening in the company by including them in strategic planning and key decisions.
  • Use staff memos in strategic places such as in with pay cheques.
  • Place bulletin boards in lunch rooms.
  • Encourage staff to use employee suggestion boxes that can be anonymous, are regularly checked, and responded to in a positive way.
  • Use employee surveys to find out what staff think and create actions based on the results.
  • Hold regular staff meetings with opportunity for employees to be heard.
  • Hold quick meetings to communicate new developments and address issues or concerns as they arise within a work unit.
  • Take time to show employees that their contributions have not gone unnoticed and that you appreciate their efforts.
  • Plan staff social events that foster relationship building amongst staff and management.
  • Encourage and support staff participation in community events.
  • Avoid creating and enforcing unnecessary rules.
  • Create processes that avoid creating conflict amongst employees and unnecessary competition.
  • Look for ways to support the need to have a balanced work/life schedule.

Different Generations 1

With more people working longer there are four generations in the workforce. They include: the silent generation (1922-1945), the baby boomers (1946-1964), generation X (1965 -1980) and generation Y (1981 – onward). Different generations of workers have different attitudes towards how and why they work. By understanding some of the differences affecting the workplace you will be better able to meet the communication and engagement needs of each generation.

Communication Do’s and Don’ts for Different Generations




Silent Generation

Show respect

Create and show goals

Use good grammar

Create organizational plans


Use profanity and slang

Use emotional language

Be disorganized

Show disrespect

Baby Boomers

Establish communication

Recognize achievements

Create strong company values

Provide development opportunities


Be politically incorrect

Be quick or unfriendly

Show little interest

Create power plays

Generation X

Respect their time

Be efficient and straightforward

Use results based language

Lead with bottom lines

Use time inefficiently

Use corporate speak

Create company policies

Talk down to them

Generation Y

Be positive

Include peers in collaboration

Show respect for achievements

Use technology where possible

Be cynical or sarcastic

Be condescending

Be unfair

Show favoritism


Hints for Engaging Different Generations

Silent Generation

  • Be personal –stop by their desks or send a hand written not to say thank you
  • Ensure they are valued for the knowledge they have gained
  • Offer ongoing training
  • Consider mentoring roles with Generation X and Y
  • Offer flex time, temporary or part time employment

Baby Boomers

  • Reward with perks and public recognition
  • Provide feedback on their positive work ethic
  • Let them know that they are making a difference to the company
  • Offer assistance in retirement planning and recognize that some
  • individuals would prefer gradual retirement
  • Offer part time work, job sharing and flex time
  • Create opportunities for training and development

Generation X

  • Use work to motivate
  • Reward with technology, self motivated projects and tangible items such as cash, gift certificates
  • Provide relaxed work restrictions and allow individuals to set their own creativity
  • Give a lot of feedback but avoid micro-managing
  • Provide different career opportunities
  • Support work and life schedule needs

Generation Y

  • Respect input into the company and ask for feedback often
  • Use suggestions and set up good mentoring programs with seasoned employees
  • Mentor as well as manage
  • Provide challenging and rewarding projects and tasks and provide guidance along the way
  • Provide flexibility with regard to use of internet, cell phones and instant messaging