5 Keys for Maximizing Engagement at Work

Barbara Kennedy headshot

Barbara Kennedy

March 18, 2022

Regardless of your industry, we all know business success depends on smart, talented people. Maximizing employee engagement in 2022 often goes far beyond salaries and financial incentives. Modern workers want to feel valued and expect employers to treat them as whole individuals. 

In our experience, looking at our business goals through a “people lens” helps achieve an atmosphere that empowers individuals to grow. In turn, team members deliver more innovative and forward-looking results for the organization and for clients. 

As you consider your strategic growth plans, maximizing employee engagement can be integral to reaching your benchmarks. These five key ideas can enhance and protect what many of us consider to be our most valuable assets — human capital: 

1. Create a human-centered culture. Meeting the deeper needs of your people can help them thrive. Once you have the basics of safety, security and comfort covered, think about how to make people feel valued and give them a sense of purpose in their work. Look for opportunities for people to collaborate and contribute, which can create a sense of buy-in for your business vision.

2. Ask people what they really want. People may want more than just more money. Instead, ask them what they need to feel more successful and engaged at work. From flexible schedules, if that’s possible for your business, to more professional development opportunities, you can foster an environment that encourages growth beyond changing someone’s paycheck. As well, it’s always useful to create clear career paths that help people reach their full potential at your company.

3. Empower your managers. Your managers hold the keys to staff morale and team success. You’ll want to give them the freedom to draw out and develop each individual’s strengths. Of course, managers should do more than provide direction — the most effective managers at every level inspire people to give the best of themselves each day.

4. Address employee burnout head-on. Burnout is a significant problem for businesses of all kinds in today’s fast-moving and often-challenging environment, but some proactive steps can help prevent it. Your EAP program and a focus on other wellness initiatives can support people before they reach a crisis. 

5. Create opportunities for social connection. People with strong social connections report higher levels of well-being in all aspects of their lives. At work, healthy social ties also promote collaboration and successful problem-solving, not to mention added satisfaction. Whether you gather teams in person or offer a rich employee intranet experience or both, social connections at work encourage better teamwork and idea-sharing. 

If you’re looking to invest in your teams, contact your Western Alliance Bank relationship manager or learn more about what our bank can offer businesses like yours. 

Western Alliance Bank CHRO Barbara Kennedy is one of three leaders honored by HR Executive Magazine’s 2021 “HR Executive of the Year” awards.