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Can you suggest activities which can engage employees without using funds and time?

By June 12, 2013 May 6th, 2020 No Comments

I was involved in a recent forum where a participant asked the question above.

The response was that unfortunately, there is no such thing as a “free lunch”. Remember the old engineers’ adage: “Fast, good, cheap: pick any two… but you can’t have all three.”

 If you want it cheap and fast, it won’t be good.

 If you want it cheap and good, it won’t be fast

 If you want it good and fast, it won’t be cheap.

 If we want to engage employees (which means they must expend some effort for us), then we as managers must be willing to expend at least some effort ourselves to ask them to do so.

The key thing to remember about engagement is that it is a mindset – a mindset where people feel positive about work, want to collaborate, share ideas, are able to innovate and can think at their best. I’d be wary of a program that is DONE TO employees.

Many people when asked when they were at their most engaged at work talk about being part of a team with a challenging but supportive manager who enabled the individual to perform. Neuroscience is proving very useful in this area as it is identifying key areas that can either lead us to feeling engaged or quite the opposite. These areas include having a sense of purpose, a feeling of autonomy, a feeling that we belong, feeling that we have some influence over our work, being respected, being recognised and appreciated, good communication and being treated fairly. Get these things right and your workforce will feel a lot more engaged and you will realise the benefits.

 As I have said in previous blogs these key areas do not have to  cost huge amounts of money to implement, but they do need leaders and managers to be aware and to take some time to consider how best advocate this philosophy. Actioned well, this can have a major impact on your business.

Sometime will have to be invested – but managing employees who are not engaged is incredibly time-consuming, and it never stops – you will be addressing the same problems until you retire or the company collapses.

 So I would view the time invested in engaging the employees as time saved, not spent.

As for the other part to the question regarding what can you do without funds? Pizza costs money, and its effect is temporary, so maybe that’s no good. You would get more value from understanding why the employees are not engaged in the first place, and that comes down to understanding how people work at an emotional level.

At Brownie Points we specialise in workforce engagement. If you would like to know more, call us today on 03 9909 7411 or email


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