Top 10 Ways to Improve Employee Engagement

List compiled by: Tom Thaman, CDM, CFPP

1. Always Try to Recruit the Best

You owe it to your staff to provide great coworkers with a team mentality. Avoid filling a position just to get it filled. Wait for the good hire that demonstrates the same level of commitment your team has. They will appreciate it.

2. Have a Structured Department Orientation for All New Staff

The success of any new hire starts with the onboarding process. A structured program will ensure that they understand expectations, policies, and procedures. It is especially important for the CDM®, CFPP® to create a welcoming atmosphere by meeting with new staff on an ongoing basis throughout their orientation period.

3. Provide staff with yearly goals that are measurable and attainable

Everyone appreciates a goal to work for so they have some control over their performance. Write goals that will help them improve their importance for your team. Review them quarterly with them to ensure they are on track for a great evaluation.

4. Meet with Your Staff Individually

The "one on one" with your team is a great opportunity for the employee to meet with the CDM®, CFPP® in a confidential environment. It allows the manager to connect with their staff and work through concerns, safety and peer issues, or even personal challenges that are interfering with their job. Everyone needs to know their manager cares!

5. Write "Thank You" Notes

Write a personal “thank you” to staff that go out of their way to provide extraordinary service and quality of product to your customers or have done something special that deserves recognition. A handwritten “thank you” note sent to the employee’s home is a great way for the CDM®, CFPP® to express gratitude for the extra effort given in the job.

6. Celebrate Work Anniversaries and Birthdays

Celebrate longevity in the department by hosting a monthly breakfast or lunch recognizing years of service. All staff like to know that loyalty is appreciated and should be part of the department’s culture. Recognizing birthdays provides a personal sense of caring by the manager.

7. Create a Monthly Recognition Program that Recognizes High Performers

Whether it is an "Employee of the Month" or "Star of the Month" program, staff recognition should be a formal, ongoing program. A framed certificate or engraved plaque will be a daily reminder that their leadership values what they do.

8. Invest in Their Future

To retain quality staff for many years, ensure that your organization is investing in their future by encouraging ongoing education and training. Make sure to encourage CDM®, CFPP® certification for the supervisor or cook that demonstrates leadership qualities.

9. Develop Leadership and Advancement from Within

High performers like to know that there is a pathway for advancement in the department. Create leveling in job positions that increase responsibilities and expectations but also creates an opportunity for higher wages and a pathway for advancement within the department.

10. Talk to Your Staff - Always say "Hello" and "Thank You"

Be the "approachable boss." All staff want to be acknowledged and appreciated daily. Walking by an employee, smiling and saying "hello, how are you today" goes a long way to show staff you are an approachable manager. Always thank the staff for whatever task you ask them to do. Show them through actions and words how much you appreciate them.

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