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  • Writer's pictureDr. Vera Alves

It's Time to Re-Engage your Workforce! (Part 2)

The last two years have been a time of profound challenges for both leaders and teams. According to a recent McKinsey report, over 19 million workers have quit their jobs in the U.S. alone since April 2021[1], and turnover is expected to remain on the rise.[2] Talent retention is key, and employee motivation is a fundamental driver of retention. A demotivated team will be less engaged and productive and will only add to the already high number of employees looking for opportunities elsewhere. What can you do as a leader to re-engage your employees? In the final installment of this two-part series, we discuss possible steps for developing a more motivated workforce.

What is the role of a manager in employee engagement?

So, who has the most impact on promoting employee motivation and engagement? The manager! Managers have a direct and strong impact on team engagement, and "the quality of managers and team leaders is the single biggest factor in your organization's long-term success."[3] Being in a managerial position cannot be reduced to transactional activities that may work in the short term but may compromise employee motivation and potentially increase turnover rates. Managers need to focus on employee motivation and support and clearly understand the relevance of relational ties. They must make frequent, meaningful conversations with the team, provide them with the right tools and direction, and prevent micromanagement.

Tips for engaging and motivating employees at work

Higher employee motivation results in higher productivity levels, more innovation, lower levels of absenteeism, lower levels of staff turnover, stronger recruitment, and an excellent company reputation. Here are some tips to engage and motivate employees at work:

Visionary leadership: Determine what success at your company looks like. Leaders, managers, and employees should know how their efforts will contribute to reaching the company objectives and understand the company's proposed destination. The destination is a massive motivator as it adds value to the journey.

Emphasizing the organization's purpose: Purpose is "fundamental to a culture that retains top talent."[4] Employees need to clearly understand the organizations' purpose and their essential role in achieving it. Acknowledge those employees who personally embody the organization's purpose and remind other managers to do the same.[4]

Understanding the 'Why': Leaders and managers should make it a practice to explain the 'why' of each task. It helps the employees realize the company's overall mission and how their actions impact the end goal. The 'Why' brings the much-needed motivation to even the smallest and simplest task.

Pay and Benefits: Organizations need to pay their employees enough to "take the issue of money off the table."[5] Never lose sight of your overall compensation package.

Clear goals and targets: While the company's mission helps determine the bigger picture, managers should also set clear small goals or targets. The goals add to the overall mission and make the end target manageable. The more employees hit the smaller goals, the more they will grow in confidence and satisfaction[6], and the more they will be motivated to accomplish bigger challenges.

Frequent recognition of efforts: Always recognize exceptional work and efforts. Show your appreciation for work well done. It increases employees' self-esteem, enthusiasm, and morale. Frequently celebrate the good performance and employees that bring company values to life.

Creating a proper work environment: Develop a friendly work culture with attention to office design details. The office shouldn't feel gloomy as it can lead to a drop in energy and motivation. Consider the architectural design of the office environment as "more emphasis on sufficient daylight exposure of the worker" promotes employees' health and well-being.[7]

Have you had leaders that were particularly good at boosting employee motivation? Which of their best practices would you highlight? Leave your comments below or send us an email at with your thoughts and suggestions.

We hope you enjoyed reading this article. If you want to learn more, our 4-module Leadership Development Master Class for practitioners contains all the materials you'll need to strengthen your leadership skills to help you cultivate emotional connections with your employees or clients. Email us at to schedule a meeting to learn more about how we can partner with you to turn your leadership goals into reality! Check us out at to learn more!

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Vera Alves is the Chief Consulting Officer at Leader Essentials Group, with extensive experience in leadership development and business management. With over 12 years of experience as a C-suite executive, Vera is highly skilled in the areas of leadership, strategic planning, operations management, organizational behavior, and change management. She possesses highly developed communication, training, and linguistic skills reflective of a very strong and charismatic leadership style.

_________________________________________________________________________ [1] De Smet, A et al. (2021). Great Attrition or Great Attraction? The choice is yours. McKinsey & Company. Retrieved from How companies can turn the Great Resignation into the Great Attraction | McKinsey, 04/03/2022. [2]Maurer, R. (2022). Recruiters respond to the Great Resignation in 2002. SHRM. Retrieved from Recruiters Respond to the Great Resignation in 2022 (, 04/03/2022 [3] Clifton, J., & Harter, J. K. (2019). It's the Manager: Gallup finds the quality of managers and team leaders is the single biggest factor in your organization's long-term success. Washington, DC, USA: Gallup Press. [4] Carucci, R. (2021). To Retain Employees, Give Them a Sense of Purpose and Community. Harvard Business Review. [5] Breitling, F. et al. (2021). 6 Strategies to boost retention through the Great Resignation. Harvard Business Review. [6] Multon, K. D., Brown, S. D., & Lent, R. W. (1991). Relation of self-efficacy beliefs to academic outcomes: A meta-analytic investigation. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 38(1), 30–38. [7] Boubekri, M., Cheung, I. N., Reid, K. J., Wang, C. H., & Zee, P. C. (2014). Impact of windows and daylight exposure on overall health and sleep quality of office workers: a case-control pilot study. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, 10(6), 603-611.

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