Connecting is key to employee engagement.

01 September 2016

Connecting is key to employee engagement.

If you haven’t taken a drive or bike ride around Brookings lately, you should. What you will see is growth; growth in housing, growth in business expansion and growth in new businesses. With growth comes the demand to hire new employees, and for existing businesses, retain employees. Retention is the continued possession, use, or control of something.  Retaining an employee implies that the employee wants to leave. By twisting around a few words and adding engagement instead of retention, will give employers a different way of looking at how to engage with new and existing employees.


Areas I have found helpful in employee engagement are through a mentor or life-coach. Asking the question “what do you (the employee) ultimately want to do?” Many of us still can’t answer this question, but knowing what the employees career path is and where they want to end up in 5, 10 or even 25 years, will help you as an employer guide their path.


Another area is recognition. Most of us know which employees need more coaching, guidance and overall attention to stay on task and sometimes we leave those high performers who need low direction alone without recognizing their efforts. Make it a point to offer kind words to all your employees by pointing out their strengths and a job well done. Not only will this help retain employees it will also motivate them to do their best work.


One of our most successful employee engagement programs is Sub40Social. A monthly social event that brings together our next generation that promotes connectivity and commonality among new friends and acquaintances. A big thank you! to the Brookings Area business community along with SDSU and area non-profit organizations who have made this event possible through financial contributions and in-kind donations. I also want to thank our originators, Zeno Wicks, Kyle Bender and Jordon Jaacks for stepping forward to develop this event after recognizing a need in the community. Sub40Social welcomes more than 100 people to each social and is a promoter of employee engagement from the smallest to the largest of area businesses.