Measure, Intervene with coaching, Reward desired behaviors. That is the process we use at FLM to develop engagement within employees.
Engagement exists at different levels, and strengthens or weakens depending on how well the need levels of people are met.
Research done by the Gallup organization has been able to determine that hierarchy of needs. And once you know where your employees are on that hierarchy, you can coach for stronger relationships and create habits by rewarding positive outcomes. We coach for 'outcomes' instead of 'behaviors' because each of us is unique, and if empowered to use our own unique strengths, we can and will achieve the desired goal or outcome. We'll just get there a bit differently, be more successful and have more fun getting there if we are allowed to choose how.
So engagement starts with understanding what is expected of us. What is the desired outcome? Next, do we have the materials we need to get there? Ask and answer these two needs first then empower (and this is a tough one for some leaders), your employees to use behaviors consistent with the desired outcome of the company.
For example, your desired outcome and vision for your company might be to have every client feel better about their day after interacting with your business. If that outcome is communicated to every employee and supported as job one by leadership, then the next step is to let them go. Allow your teams to find their own path to achieving that goal. Some may choose to send thank you cards, some may learn all their customers names, some may choose to visit clients businesses to better learn their needs, make call backs within 2 hours, save clients another call by suggesting products that are beneficial to their business and the list goes on and on.
Managers jobs at that point is to reward for behaviors consistent with positive progress to the desired outcome followed by periodic measurement of both employee and client. Consistent measurement allows for readjustment and refinement as well as open discussion. Because each client is different, their reaction to behaviors is going to be different. However, if foremost in everyone's mind is "feeling better after interaction", people will find the behaviors that first meet then exceed expectations. And because employees have been empowered, they have been able to do what they do best everyday - another level of engagement.