Fish Rots From The Head: 5 Tips to Create an Engaged Workforce


“As far as engagement goes, the fish always rots from the head. People leaders need to be the catalyst to improving productivity and performance, but they can’t if their teams are not first engaged. Engage and motivate your people to get A’s not Zzzzzz’s.” People Glue

Although employee engagement is not typically viewed as a boardroom issue, disengaged employees can hurt customer service, productivity, sales, and profits. Engaged employees care more about their jobs, perform at a higher level relative to their peers, and stay longer in their positions.

While many factors determine employee satisfaction, managers shape the environment that drives the engagement—or disengagement—of their employees. Here are a few steps managers can take to create a more engaged work environment:

Assess potential employees’ cultural fit, not just their skills and experience. Every company has a unique company culture. Engagement starts by making sure employees will fit and enjoy the company’s style.

Make a greater percentage of compensation performance-based pay, which must be re-earned each year. This approach increases a worker’s focus and ensures alignment throughout the organization.

Provide opportunities for growth and development. Ensure that managers and direct reports are having quarterly conversations about career goals and the knowledge and skills that need to be developed for advancement. Instead of formalized training programs, maximize informal learning, mentorships, job rotations, and other developmental experiences.

Recognize employees and show sincere appreciation. More important than the annual plaques and award dinners are the “thank-yous” that occur immediately following achievements and great efforts. Asking employees for their ideas is a great way to show they are valued.

Earn team members’ trust and build their confidence in the future. Engagement is not possible unless workers trust the leadership. Be fully transparent, strive to “overcommunicate,” and ensure that everybody is in tune with your strategic plan.


Want to show your people they are really your greatest asset. Want skills a motivation to grow yourself into a more powerful leader? Want to build that business? Click here to learn more. Go>

Jim Woods

Jim Woods

Jim Woods programs drive innovation, identify opportunities, create leaders and design meaningful experiences that grow employees and delight customers. Contact us

Jim is president of InnoThink Group a human resources and leadership management consulting firm. He has an absolute passion for people development and are constantly refining and adapting his programs in order to ensure that they have the maximum impact on those we serve. – See more at:

See a partial list of Jim’s clients. Hire Jim Woods to Speak  | Follow us: Facebook | Follow us: Twitter | Skype ID – jim.woods79

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Call Jim at (719) 445-1204 or use this form to schedule a free phone consultation. You and he will discuss how your organizational culture operates today – and how you’d like it to operate tomorrow.

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Jim Woods is president of The Jim Woods Group. A management consulting firm. Go here to see his work He advises and speaks to organizations large and small on how to increase top line growth in times of uncertainty and complexity. Some of his speaking and consulting clients include: U.S. Army, MITRE Corporation, Pitney Bowes, Whirlpool, and 3M. See more at his website

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