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Six Ways to Engage People in Tough Times

Jeevan Sivasubramaniam Posted by Jeevan Sivasubramaniam, Managing Director, Editorial, Berrett-Koehler Publishers Inc.

Six Ways to Engage People in Tough Times

It's difficult enough to engage and motivate people, but given our current economic climate, it seems almost impossible. Almost. Bestselling author Ken Thomas has six proven ways to engage, motivate, and help your talent glow:

1. Pay attention to the day-to-day rewards that sustain their attention and enthusiasm. We often think of motivation as wanting something. Instead, focus on what keeps people going - what are they getting right now that motivates them?

2. Focus on intrinsic rewards -- the satisfactions people get directly from their work. Money is a factor in choosing a job, but people remain and stay engaged largely because of these satisfactions.

3. Provide a meaningful purpose. Work activities are empty for people unless they contribute to an overall worthwhile purpose. “Do this,” doesn’t engage people. “Help make this happen,” does.

4. Recognize the importance of visible and measurable progress. It isn’t enough to just pursue an important purpose. To keep up enthusiasm for any project, people need credible evidence that their ongoing efforts are getting results towards that purpose.

5. Give individuals as much choice as they can handle. Making informed choices is a key way people can add value in their work, and a way for them to see their footprints in the progress being made.

6. Provide constructive interpretations of events. Remember how much it helped when friends or family helped you regain perspective when you were discouraged? Without ignoring negative events, help people appreciate the positives in their purposes, progress, and competence -- and remember to keep doing this on an ongoing basis.

Check out Ken's Work Engagement Profile for more details.

Are there any others that should have been included in this list? What do you think of the techniques listed above? Tell us.