The Three Keys to Employee Engagement

And the tactics for addressing these critical areas with employees as a manager

Wang Yip


Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash

In The Truth About Employee Engagement, Patrick Lencioni (the same author of the best-selling The Five Dysfunctions of a Team), talks about the three keys to employee engagement through a fable.

This is of course, aside from the necessities: things like getting sufficient pay to pay the bills, psychological safety to speak out at work, good working conditions where you don’t feel like you’re going to get harmed while working, etc.

Those three keys? Making things relevant, getting to know employees, and defining how to measure employees.

Making things relevant

In a similar book about making things relevant, Start with Why talks about how everything starts with the purpose. Before the ‘what’ or the ‘how’ of anything, we must understand the ‘why’. Why am I doing this for a company? Why is it important?

The first key to employee engagement is making sure all employees understand how their work contributes to the organisation. Perhaps you’re a janitor and keeping the areas clean means good working conditions, which boosts productivity for employees, which could then mean employees can sell more products and services.

As a manager, sometimes you have employees whom it is easy to link to the company’s goals or vision. Other times, there’s more work needed to make the connection between employees to the company vision, but it’s an exercise worth undertaking.

Getting to know employees

The second key according to Patrick is getting to know your employees, that is, really getting to know them. Do they have a partner? Do they have kids? What are their names? Birthdays? Do they have hobbies? Participate in sports? How old are their parents? Are the parents living with them?

This isn’t about being creepy and asking for private information nor is it about feigning interest just so that you can get on with the work. It’s about showing genuine interest in your employees.

If you’re fortunate to work for a manager that genuinely cares about you, you likely already…



Wang Yip

Author of Essential Habits. I write about personal development, work and managing your career. Connect with me at