Let Your Employees Tell You What They Need to Stay Engaged at Work

Equip your employees with the language to articulate their needs and empower them to help you make the necessary changes.

Written by Carson Tate
Published on Jan. 12, 2022
Let Your Employees Tell You What They Need to Stay Engaged at Work
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Work has radically and fundamentally changed. Employees now work in offices, at home, or a hybrid combination of the two. Zoom is now a noun and a verb and athleisure wear is the new business suit. The workplace of today requires employers to have a new strategy for employee engagement. Long gone are the days of well-appointed office spaces, Ping Pong tables, and tickets to sporting events. What is needed in the new, more flexible working world is an approach that understands the employer-employee relationship as a social contract that empowers and equips employees to identify and own what they need to be engaged and fulfilled. 


Equip Employees to Clarify and Own What They Need to Be Engaged and Fulfilled

It takes two to create a vibrant, mutually beneficial, and meaningful professional relationship. This is not possible if your employees are unclear on what they need to be engaged in their jobs. Ask your team members to identify and own what they need in each of my Five Essentials for Professional Fulfillment: admit, align, develop, cultivate, and design.

5 Questions to Clarify Professional Fulfillment Needs

  1. Admit: How do you want to be recognized and appreciated in exchange for your contributions?
  2. Align: What are your strengths and unique skills? How can you align and leverage them to support the accomplishment of the company’s strategic goals?
  3. Develop: What skills and knowledge do you want to develop that will motivate and inspire you and help you advance in your career and within the organization?
  4. Cultivate: How can you cultivate authentic relationships with the team so you can advance your career and enjoy your work?
  5. Design: How can you design your job to find meaning in your work?


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Once your employees have clarified what they need to be gratified at work, invite them to participate in a conversation about how to create a mutually beneficial way to work that supports both of you in achieving your goals. 

Read More on Employee Engagement on the Built In Expert Contributors NetworkIt’s Time to Rewrite the Handbook for Employee Engagement in Hybrid Work Environments


Empower Employees to Be Active Designers and Creators of Their Professional Experience

Encourage your employees to be active designers and creators of their professional experience by shaping their work in the following three areas: task, relational and cognitive.



Employees make behavioral changes to how they perform their set of assigned job activities. They either adjust the scope or nature of assignments involved in their job or take on additional responsibilities. 

Ask your employees to consider the following questions: 

  • What job duty could I modify so that I can more fully use my strengths to add more meaning to my job? 

  • What strength am I not using that I want to use to unlock more significance in my work? 



Employees make changes to their professional relationships. They either alter the extent or nature of their affiliation with their colleagues or develop and build new associations.

Ask your employees to consider the following questions: 

  • Who do you want to connect with to create an opportunity for more significance in your work? 

  • Who do you want to connect with who has a skill you want to develop or has held a position in the company you want to have? 



Employees make proactive psychological changes to their perceptions of their job. They redefine what they see as the type and nature of the duties or relationships involved in their job. Employees reframe their job to see it as a meaningful whole that positively impacts others rather than a collection of separate responsibilities.

Ask your employees to consider the following questions: 

  • Why do people buy our product or service?

  • What is the benefit our customers receive from using our product or service?

  • What would happen if our product or service did not exist? For our customer? For our community?


There is an opportunity to unleash extraordinary potential in your organization when the employer-employee relationship is reimagined as a social contract, and your employees are empowered and equipped to own their professional fulfillment needs.


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