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Managers: Is it possible to automate employee engagement?

3 min read


There’s no shortage of research, articles, and infographics that express the importance of employee engagement and its direct impact on employee satisfaction, retention, performance, and culture at an organization.

Managers must focus on the wants, needs, feelings, and emotions of each employees — all of which are critical for keeping a team running like a well-oiled machine. But at what point do these details become too much to track when combined with the everyday needs of the organization, needy customers, high-priority projects, and a full inbox?

An important first step is to recognize that it’s not possible to do everything flawlessly as a manager! It’s perfectly fine to rely on some tricks and systems to keep you on track. After all, technology and automation are improving nearly every aspect of the business world, so why not consider using these concepts to help with employee engagement?

Consider the idea of automating some employee engagement tasks. The examples below provide simple, powerful ways to keep up with the people-side of management while taking advantage of modern-day capabilities:

  • Set calendar reminders for each of your employees’ birthdays and work anniversaries. Make sure to recognize them individually on those days and let them know you appreciate everything they do on your team. Pro-tip: Keep a stack of birthday and congratulations/thank you cards in your desk!
  • Search SlideShare, LinkedIn, and Twitter to come up with a list of 10 to 20 ideas and activities to engage, recognize and reward your employees. Set a calendar reminder to use the curated items on this list every one or two weeks. (Try one of the links above to see the searches in action.)
  • Set weekly or monthly calendar reminders throughout the next year to remind you to have coaching conversations, send engagement pulse surveys and check in on the health of your team members.
  • Work with a local restaurant, flower shop, coffee shop, or bakery and schedule several “surprise” deliveries for your team in the next six to 12 months to thank them for their hard work.
  • Use an automated system, (my company, Awesome Boss, is one), which can provide the following:
    • Personalized coaching and mentoring tips delivered once per week via text message.
    • Text and e-mail reminders for employee birthdays and work anniversaries.
    • 80+ activity ideas to help engage, recognize, and reward employees.
    • Employee profile pages to help you remember the “little” things that matter, such as hobbies and interests, the name of their spouse or partner, their favorite coffee, etc.
    • 35 coaching cue cards to help you navigate nearly any coaching conversation.

Automating employee engagement tasks doesn’t make you a bad or lazy manager. Quite the contrary! It means that you are dedicated to giving your employees the attention they need, and you’re willing to spend time crafting the proper work environment and work experience they deserve. Combined with regular 1:1 meetings, coaching conversations, and a personal touch, your team will be motivated, engaged, and ready to tackle any obstacle.

B.J. Schone is the founder of Awesome Boss, which provides managers with a unique suite of tools to help them engage, recognize, and reward their employees.

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