Ice Cream on a Stick is not an Employee Engagement Strategy

I want to tell you a story about employee engagement. There is a Dairy Queen just down the street from the office. It’s one of the old fashioned Dairy Queens with no seating and no food. You walk up to the window and order your ice cream treat. I love that it’s in the neighborhood and it makes for a nice break on some afternoons to walk down there and grab a treat and sit in the shade to enjoy it.

This week I walked down for one of those treats. I ended up in line behind a gentleman who ordered 12 Dilly Bars. When the owner of the Dairy Queen asked him what flavors he wanted, his reply was, “I don’t care, I’m just taking them back to the office to give to employees.” I felt a tinge of excitement. It was like I was the management version of a bird watcher. I wanted to pull out my little field book and start scratching notes about my sighting. I had run across a Dilly Bar Manager. I wanted to snap a photo. I wanted to ask him questions. I opted to just observe.

I know I’ll probably get angry emails about this (mostly from Dilly Bar Managers). Don’t get me wrong. Everyone loves a good ice cream treat now and then and it’s a bonus when someone else buys it for you. The problem starts when managers think that IS their employee engagement strategy. I’ve worked with Dilly Bar Managers in every organization I’ve been a part of. They miss the genuine opportunities for employee engagement activities that make employees feel committed to the company and to the work, and instead, when the troops start to grumble they grab a box of donuts or pass out a few ten dollar bills. It makes the employee feel happy/thankful/less hungry (pick one), for a short period of time and then all parties go back to what they were doing before.

Employee Engagement is Easy

Here’s the thing. Employee engagement is not that difficult. In fact, there are three things you could begin doing Monday morning when you get back to the office.

1. Give feedback – positive and developmental. It takes no time at all and employees have a genuine desire to understand how they are performing on the job and how you as a manager sees and appreciates that performance.

2. Provide opportunities for challenging job assignments – employees want to learn and grow. They don’t want to just show up and do the same things over and over again. Help them find assignments that cause them to stretch and be challenged. Assignments that add value to the organization.

3. Encourage participation – People want to feel like their input is valued. They want someone to ask them what they think about a new process or procedure. They want to help fix something that’s broken and share their opinions. For many of them, the only thing holding them back is a manager that fails to ask for their input.

Implementing Employee Engagement Ideas

Those are the things that will help engage your employees. Practice them on a regular basis and you will have a work group that will follow you anywhere. Even down to the Dairy Queen for a Dilly Bar.

Twitter
LinkedIn
Pinterest
Follow by Email
Tim Sieck

Tim Sieck is a principal partner with On Target Talent. On Target Talent uses a consultative, and perhaps slightly unconventional approach, in assisting and guiding companies to organizational success. Tim consults with company leaders and managers to develop and train key talent. In addition, Tim is an adjunct faculty member at Upper Iowa University. To connect with Tim, follow @tsieck on Twitter.

Twitter
LinkedIn
Pinterest
Follow by Email
25 Questions to Ask a Mentor

Whenever I’m asked “What are some of the best questions to ask a ...

Four Types of Questions To Ask Your Mentor

Have conversations with your mentor gotten a bit repetitive lately? Perhaps you approached ...

25 Songs For Your Leadership Playlist

What are your all-time favorite leadership songs — the ones that make you ...

How to Shut Down a Colleague Who Takes Credit for Your Work

Has this ever happened to you? You’re in a meeting and the unthinkable ...

5 Ways to be a Leader, Not a Manager

Have you ever wondered about the difference between a manager and a leader? ...

11 Leadership Lessons Learned

Here are 11 lessons I’ve learned about leadership—mostly from much-admired colleagues, and just ...

10 Killer Leadership Skills: The Great Differentiators?

Last week at Hallmark I hosted a couple gentlemen from a partner company. ...

100 Leadership Qualities

What are your leadership strengths? That’s a question I ask in a survey ...

Influencing Without Authority—Using Your Six Sources of Influence

I am in the difficult situation of being unofficial project lead, responsible for ...

9 Traits of Exceptional Leaders

Truly great leaders are hard to come by, but it seems everyone thinks ...

Negotiate Through Your Next Performance Review
Negotiate Through Your Next Performance Review

With performance reviews around the corner, I wanted to write a how-to post on negotiating.

Why Companies Should Give Women More Stretch Assignments
Why Companies Should Give Women More Stretch Assignments

Landing a coveted stretch assignment is a proven shortcut to a top role. Does your

5 Ways to Shine as a High-Potential
5 Ways to Shine as a High-Potential

There’s never been a better time to develop your leadership skills. According to Deloitte’s 2014

How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

On a regular old day, you’re plugging along, attending to the work tasks in front

You Wouldn’t Stay in a Thankless Job. So Why Accept a Thankless Stretch Assignment?    
You Wouldn’t Stay in a Thankless Job. So Why Accept a Thankless Stretch Assignment?   

Four Rules for Accepting a Stretch Assignment Want to connect to a bigger, bolder vision

A New Research Report and a New Era for Be Leaderly
A New Research Report and a New Era for Be Leaderly

January 22, 2019: Today, we published our first ever research report, OUT OF THE COMFORT

4 Myths About Having Mentors (and How to Overcome Them)
4 Myths About Having Mentors (and How to Overcome Them)

Mentors are special people. They take us under their wise, experienced wings and help us

Schedule “Life” First.
Schedule “Life” First.

Every year, on January 1st, my year begins the same way. I sit down with

25 Questions to Ask a Mentor
25 Questions to Ask a Mentor

Whenever I’m asked “What are some of the best questions to ask a mentor?” I

4 Ways to Break Free from Your Post-Holiday Funk
4 Ways to Break Free from Your Post-Holiday Funk

You’re back in the saddle at work. Maybe you took a few days off for

Ask Jo: How can I thank my mentor?

Question: I have an incredible mentor. She ...

Teamwork is a Skill. It Takes Practice!

Everyone wants to lead, or be a ...

It’s Worth the Risk (I promise)

This is Sarah. She’s one of my ...

100 Leadership Qualities

What are your leadership strengths? That’s a ...

Leaderly Quote: Great Leaders Know When to Step Aside

“Great leaders know when to step aside.” ...

At Be Leaderly, our mission is a simple one: To provide proven career strategies that help you lead, climb, and thrive as a rising woman of influence. If you’re ready to lead, we’re here to support and inspire you.

Subscribe

captcha

PRIVACY

We will never share, rent, or sell your personal information or email address. Read more.
Copyright 2019, Be Leaderly