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I can't get my employees to be fully engaged, what am I doing wrong?

I can't get my employees to be fully engaged, what am I doing wrong?

It's not always easy to get fully engaged employees. Here's how to create an environment to foster employee engagement in 3 steps.

Maurice Lefebvre
Maurice Lefebvre

There are plenty of such engaged employees. Apparently, they just don't want to work for YOU. Let's find out why.

Three things drive good, engaged employees: the desire for autonomy, mastery and purpose. Couple that with a decent salary, respect, treat them like adults, and you will get good, engaged employees.

You see, these kinds of employees aren't going to simply obey your orders: it's you who will have to listen to them and give them what they need to create success.


Autonomy means that you must trust them to make their own decisions. I'm not saying to leave them on their own, but tell them clearly the outcome you want and why it is important.

Then, let's them explore the best ways to deliver that to you. That's quite different from telling them what to do, and that difference, well, makes all the difference.


Mastery means that people want to get better, improve their skills, their potential and their standing. Trust the most experienced and skilled employees to mentor the newer ones, and compensate them for doing so.

Don't pigeon hole them in a tightly defined role, but allow them to spread their wings, learn new things and find out where in your company they can truly shine. Hire people with potential, not monkeys to do one specific job.


Purpose means that they must feel they are making a positive contribution to something other than your bottom line. It might be surprising, but making you money and obeying your orders isn't the greatest incentive to work.

Have them share the dream (if you have one), make sure they see the good they do in their community, have a company where they can aspire to grow in.

People who are just asked to shut up and deliver are never going to be engaged. Hire one, and you will snuff out their engagement very quickly.

"But am I not paying them to be engaged?"

Arguments such as "I pay them and the least they could do is being grateful" isn't worth anything. Those people are giving YOU a huge chunk of their lives to move your company forward, so you should be grateful to them.

Treat them properly, and make sure that the deal is good for them, and you will get amazing people. Some will come, and some will grow into amazing employees while working for you. Grow their loyalty, because you cannot ask for it.