A road leads to a new and curved office building near San Francisco in the US. Picture: THINKSTOCK
A road leads to a new and curved office building near San Francisco in the US. Picture: THINKSTOCK

HAVE a look around the average office and you are likely to see a few people humming with enthusiasm over what they do and others who look as though a two-hour root-canal appointment would be more fun than a day at work.

What sets these two extremes apart is whether they feel engaged or not.

Neville de Lucia, director at Dale Carnegie Training, said engaged employees were "actively involved, enthusiastic about their work and would need a significantly greater salary increase before leaving an existing job". They would willingly put in extra effort and time because they felt a personal connection to the organisation.

"The partially engaged employee does the minimum to get by, concentrates on the job at hand and adds little extra value. The disengaged employee demonstrates negativity and undermines the accomplishments of others, potentially creating a toxic atmosphere in the workplace," said De Lucia.

So how can companies ensure that they have more engaged employees?

De Lucia has the following advice:

• New employees need more guidance than those who have been with the company for a few years. They are optimistic and want to advance in the company, but they need feedback so that they can gain confidence;

• It is up to managers to turn the initial enthusiasm into engagement through setting goals and developing the skills needed to do the job;

• People feel engaged and care about the organisation when they feel valued by their employer and are given realistic responsibility; and

• Provide recognition and reward for a job well done.

• This article was first published in Sunday Times: Business Times