Sometimes, we overcomplicate things, and employee engagement I would suggest is one of those areas. Sometimes, it’s the simple things, the basics that get completely overlooked in our quest for perfection.
I recently read an article about Duolingo’s chief, Luis von Ahn on businessinsider.com entitled “The CEO of a $960 million company uses one sentence to motivate lazy employees.”
That one sentence was “What you’re doing is really important.”
Not sexy; not profound; not complicated.
He also said that “You can turn somebody from being a lazy person to being the most committed person if they honestly believe that the company and you, as a leader, think what they’re doing is important.”
When interviewing the managers of a national company I asked them about their boss, the owner. Each said a similar thing which can be summed up as: “I know that he values my contribution and that he will do anything he can to help me in my role.” Because of this belief—that they were important to the success of the company—they were firmly engaged and highly productive.
Deep inside all of us, we like to know that our contributions are valued. To express a thank you at days end or to express a heartfelt “what you do is valuable” takes little effort yet, in its simplicity, strikes at the heart of our people and potentially yields high returns.