Employee Engagement for 2020 [Proven Strategies not to be Overlooked]



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Employee engagement or at least the term "employee engagement" is not new. It dates back 30 years ago when Professor William Kahn of Boston University coined the term engagement in an academic journal, "Psychological Conditions of Personal Engagement and Disengagement at Work.” And prior to that time the words employee satisfaction floated around a business setting.

With being viable for so long it makes you wonder why the latest statistics on employee engagement are still looking grim. According to ADP Research Institute's new Global Study of Engagement, 84% of workers are merely "coming to work" and are not contributing fully to their organization.

As a Master DISC Certification Trainer, this topic hits close to home. DISC itself is a tool to drive change and develop leaders. Leadership development will impact employee engagement. This article isn't your average, "x tips/ideas to increase employee engagement". We dive deeper into where you should focus your efforts so engagement will rise. Choose from 8 stunning layouts

What is an Employee Engagement Strategy?

I like this definition the best because engagement is really more than a connection, it's a feeling.

Employee engagement strategy means "increasing the likelihood that employees will establish a positive emotional connection with your organization". (source: Employee engagement strategy: all you need to know)

This connection brings happier and more engaged employees. But here's the big take-away...

It creates an environment for people to grow and feel as though they are part of the bigger picture. Employees become committed to or personally involved with the success of the business.

As I alluded to above, there are things/tips you can do to make your employees happier ie. provide healthy snacks, create a great office space, have company outings. Here's 20 Fresh Employee Engagement Ideas for 2020 to start the year off.


To get to the crux of the matter we need to go deeper and think bigger.

Create an Irresistible Organization with Proven Employee Engagement Strategies

Survey after survey states workers are not engaged and struggling to cope with work.

One of the strategies often mentioned to reverse this outcome is to create an irresistible organization. Deloitte Insightscites after years of research and discussions there are five elements that drive engagement and create an alluring culture.

  1. Meaningful work - Psychologist, Daniel Pink believes people are driven by "autonomy, mastery, and purpose."

  2. Hands-on management -  Set goals, support your people, and make things happen 

  3. Positive work environment - Flexible and supportive work environment - agile work environments are progressively popular

  4. Growth opportunity - Ample growth opportunity will help with employee retention

  5. Trust in Leadership - Communication and trust is key  

Let's expand on #5 ...

Key Proven Strategies to Employee Engagement

Do you want to know how to build employee engagement effortlessly?

Employees want to feel valued and have a clearly-defined future. They need to see their role in the company as influential and essential.

There are now a few preeminent solutions you can garner to win your employees loyalty, their overall emotional investment, and engagement in their work.

1. Understanding How to Speak to Your Team

Do you know how to speak to people in your office? On your team? 

Let's face it.

Companies are comprised of multiple behaviors and distinct ways of speaking, listening, and learning. As leaders we need to establish two-way communications. In order to do that you should have a clue as to how to communicate with the people in your organization.

Think of the person who is detailed oriented and wants to know every step it takes to go from point A to point B. Then, think of the person that wants to only know the end result you are after. You would communicate to them differently.

DISC Reports help you see the variations in Behavior Styles and flex how you will view your teammates. Would you talk to a heavy Dominant (D) Style/person the same as a full-fledge Conscientious (C) Style/person? 

Not if you want the best results.

The D Style most likely wants the pace fast and conversation to get right to the point. The C Style likes more detail and follow-through and likes to weigh the pros and cons of each scenario. As you can see, they both would require different paths to communicate effectively.

Learn more about DISC Assessments and the power they have as a tool to better conversations and connections. 

Take my complimentary DISCcert online DISC Assessment It's simple and helps measure communication behavior preferences.

Plus, it only takes 10 minutes but will change the way you speak with others forever.


Related content: Four DISC Styles and What to Look For

2. Building Trust With Your Team and Colleagues Today

An emotional driver to success with employee engagement is building trust. It's time to break down the barriers by understanding each other better. 

This will build trust. And trust will build employee engagement.

"Some of the most effective and lasting tools for building trust on a team are profiles of team members' behavioral preferences and personality styles. These help break down barriers by allowing people to better understand and empathize with one another." [source: "The Invisible Drain on Your Company's Culture", by Mark Scullard, PhD]

Trust in team leaders are important influences for engagement.

According to Hayes, Chumney, Wright & Buckingham, The Global Study of Engagement,

"Trust in team leaders is the foundation of Engagement". Importantly, a worker is 12 times more likely to be fully engaged if he or she trusts the team leader.

In a Gallup report, "State of the American Manager: Analytics and Advice for Leaders" three behaviors were critical and linked to an employee's happiness. They were communication, performance management, and focusing on an employee's strength.

The same study revealed that of 7,000 surveyed, around 50% left their job "to get away from their manager." 

If team leaders focus on these three behaviors, teams will be more productive, more engaged, and more likely to stay. The trust factor builds a rapport between the leader and team that allows them to use their strengths making the job seem less like a job. 

Unhappy employees or disengaged employees often leave because of the broken relationship with their manager. 

3. Developing Leadership Within Your Team

70-80% of your workforce reports to a front line manager. It is to your benefit to help these managers become great leaders. [source: How Leadership Development Impacts Employee Engagement]

When you set your managers up for success you are setting the bar to improve team engagement. Companies need their leaders to develop the skills to get employees engaged. It typically starts with a shared purpose and goal and constant communication.

One of the ways to be a good leader is to always keep learning new things. Learn how your team operates.

Do they work well together? Is your team likely to bond or break? Engaged employees look out for their co-workers. Are you getting your point across the right way? 

Not all people "hear" or respond the same way. Good listeners, which make great leaders, understand that communication is key. They can adjust their leadership style to adapt to their different team Behavioral Styles. Knowing the Styles of your teams Styles will improve motivation and build confidence.

As you coach and develop team members, think of how they want to be communicated with and treated. Below is a chart that explains it best.

Coaching Your People 

The four basic DISC Behavior Types recognized today are Dominant (D), Influence (I), Steady (S), and Conscientious (C). The first letter of each of the Behavior Patterns creates the acronym DISC.


Employee engagement impacts any business. If you still question whether engagement is critical to productivity and profits, consider this fairly discouraging statistic...

U.S. businesses lose approximately $11 billion to staff turnover each year. Keeping that rate low is one of the challenges faced by companies. Whether you are a human resource leader or top executive, you can see employee engagement has an impact on profits and retention.

At DISCcert, we have a reliable and proven method to help you make engagement a top priority. DISC is a tool to drive change, foster team effectiveness and develop leaders.

If you are an HR / Training Professional struggling with managing organizational change, conflicts, and poor leadership, consider DISCcert Certification. We are your pathway to overcoming challenges.

Let's talk!