Virtually every business needs employees who are engaged in the daily activities necessary for the organization to succeed. Studies(1) demonstrate that engaged employees are more productive, more profitable and are strong business champions.  This is exactly why high-growth organizations who are considered best-in-class in their industries utilize strategy to enhance employee output.

An employee engagement strategy helps organizations drive results by improving employee engagement and consists of six steps:

  1. Communicate
  2. Lead
  3. Activities
  4. Action
  5. Measure
  6. Sustain

Let’s expand on each step.

COMMUNICATE: Engage Using the Top-Up Approach
Most employee initiatives designed to solve an organization’s problems or achieve goals come from the top down.  However, this can lead to employee resistance, high employee turn-over, increased sick days, and less than desired outcomes.  The best employee engagement strategy comes as the result of leaders and participants working together to structure the strategy. 

LEAD: Lead from the Top Down
Employees tend to become discouraged or disgruntled when leaders and managers aren’t living by the same standards.  Leaders should clearly communicate about the vision plan of the organization, provide the tools and resources to help employees succeed, and demonstrate the company’s values through role-modeling.

ACTIVITIES: Use Engagement Activities that Drive the Desired Results
When determining the employee engagement model to use, consider the activities that need to be performed to achieve the desired outcome.  For example, activities focused on revenue generation would be significantly different than activities that improve productivity.

Increase sales from new customers by 10%
Increase assembly line productivity by 10%

  • Establish guidelines for quality lead identification
  • Make outbound phone calls to new customer prospects
  • Respond to inbound inquiries from new customers
  • Prepare proposals/quotes for new customers
  • Close sales within 30 days for new customer prospects



  • Identify issues that hinder productivity (e.g. machines
    not working properly, supplies not delivered on time,
    etc.) and solve them
  • Participate in training/retraining/cross-training to
    minimize errors and downtime
  • Reduce waste due to faulty/broken/missing parts via
    quality control

MEASURE: Monitor and Track Progress
Employee engagement should directly influence tangible business outcomes.  Therefore, monitoring and tracking progress of an engagement strategy is critical to the outcome. Measurement should be taken at consistent intervals such as each month or quarter to ensure that engagement initiatives are achieving the goals.

ACTION: Reinforce and Reward Behavior that Achieves the Goal
To sustain employee engagement over an extended period of time plan to reward top performers.  Weekly or monthly recognition by leaders for participants who have achieved or exceeded goals is one way to sustain long-term goals.  Another is to provide a larger incentive, such as travel to an exotic destination for the very best performers.

SUSTAIN: Create a Culture that Feeds Motivation
Long-term behavioral changes won’t last unless there is a culture that underscores the desired results, and encourages employees to stay motivated.  Leaders should always be looking for ways to reinforce positive outcomes and keep employees motivated to achieve (and sustain) the desired results.

Businesses desiring high growth require an employee engagement strategy to drive outcomes.  Leaders and employees must work together to determine the activities and actions required to achieve business objectives.

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(1) Christian, M. S., Garza, A. S., & Slaughter, J. E. (2011). Work engagement: A quantitative review and test of its relations with task and contextual performance. Personnel Psychology, 64, 89-136

Eloisa Mendez