4 Practical Tips for Driving Employee Engagement

In a recent Harvard Business Review article, Duane Bray, head of global talent for the design firm IDEO, recognized that there is no “silver bullet” for employee engagement. Fostering positive emotional connections between employees and their company is not a simple task.

In a survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management, HR professionals listed maintaining high levels of engagement as their most pressing human capital challenge.

With engagement rates currently hovering at 32.1% according to Gallup, companies face low levels of motivation and focus among employees.

IDEO has succeeded in engagement where other companies fall short because of the innovative thinking that inspires their design work and management style. For a new spin on global engagement, consider these four tips from Bray and IDEO’s management:

  1. Encourage Brainstorming – “We have Brainstorm Kits that include Post-Its and Sharpies in every meeting room, signaling to participants that they should feel free to express themselves in a variety of ways.”
  1. Tailor Your Purpose – IDEO tailors its global mission statement to fit the purpose of local offices. This approach supports and maximizes their global goals while tailoring them by relevance.
  1. Build on a Social Contract – “You might have heard about the Little Book of IDEO. In it, we talk about seven common values that bind us together: be optimistic, collaborate, learn from failure, embrace ambiguity, talk less and do more, take ownership, and lastly, make others successful.”
  1. Support Bottom-Up Innovation – IDEO recognizes that the best initiatives arise from employees rather than leadership. They encourage individuals to take ownership and drive ideas that spring from their passions.