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  • Writer's pictureAnushruti

The secret to an 'Engaged' workforce



Human beings for ages have struggled between their innate desire to stand out in the crowd and the need to blend in and all this, while striving to find purpose in their lives and actions.

And just as one struggles to attain the mystic balance amongst the above three elements in life; the struggle is nearly the same in the workplace. This struggle also happens to be our key in understanding and accomplishing an ‘engaged workforce’.

A ‘motivated’ or ‘engaged’ employee is one that is enthusiastic and eager to grow oneself and as a result grow the company at the same time.

Employees want to get along their peers and also get ahead of them; all while relishing the work that they do. By catering to these innate desires of human beings, we might be able to keep our workforce engaged.


1. Need to blend in: Employees look forward to working when they are able to get along their team mates and seniors and are able to cooperate and engage with them. They feel accepted and comfortable and this is the first requirement of a motivated employee.

Well-designed on boarding programs focussing on making the new joinees comfortable in the office and amongst colleagues is a great start. Informal meets, ice breaker activities, in house cafeterias etc. open opportunities for them to connect and network which will go a long way in establishing amicable work environment.

2. Desire to stand out: While each employee wishes to get along their teammates, the desire to get ahead always kicks in. A sense of achievement arising from the opportunity of out performing others is what keeps them going.

Managers play the most important role in this one. Employees need to be given the opportunity to show off their skill and ability to do the assigned task. Managers should refrain from giving direction, rather indulge in coaching the employee if they get stuck. If the employee solves the problem by himself, the level of confidence increases and sense of accomplishment is attained. Offering appreciation and recognition for the work is equally important. After all, everyone works to be the best.

3. Meaningful work: The employees need to see that the work they are doing serves a purpose and has meaning.

Self-Transcendence has been at the top of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Even employees have the need to feel that their work has a bigger meaning in context of the organization. Meaningfulness is not something that might happen continuously. An employee may have only few of these types of moments in their work lives, but those moments surely leave a lasting impression on how they view their jobs and lives.

Managers can help a lot in this regard by open conversations about the purpose of the organization and the positive impact it creates on society. And how their actions and activities fall into the scheme of achieving the same.



The lack of the above three elements in an employee’s workplace results in demotivated employee and an alienated workforce. Studies show that there are considerable effects of disengaged workforce on the bottom line.

When employees are disengaged, they make more mistakes and waste more time at work. The turnover rate of the company increases and so does recruiting and training expenses. Millennials in particular are quick to leave job if they feel disengaged. Such employees are likely to feel depressed at work and their presence could further result in a tensed environment in the team at the workplace. All these issues directly impact the bottom line of the organization. Thus, engaging the workforce is an area that needs our active attention and action.

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