A, B & the 6 C's of Employee Engagement

Given all the material that is out there these days on employee engagement and my unabashed love of acronyms, I started playing around with an A-Z list of words and thoughts tied to this subject. The first two letters of the alphabet came easily for me since they are things I always talk about.

A stands for Alignment , which is all about ensuring that employees understand where their company is going, how they will get there and where they fit in.

B stands for Buying In , which is having employees who truly believes in the mission, vision and purpose of the organization they work for.

It’s when I got to the letter C that my keyboard stuck and my brain went into overdrive. I truly believe that as a general rule of thumb, amazing businesses succeed in creating engaged organizations by focusing on these six C’s:


Employees don’t just work together; they are vested in each other’s success. Collaborative organizations know there is more power in ‘we’ than ‘I’.


Employees are heard and their ideas are valued. Engaged employees are more likely to be innovative and creative.


Engaged employees create happy customers who create more sales and ultimately increased revenues and shareholder value. There’s no denying the cause and effect of this relationship.


We need to celebrate successes along the way so that employees can feel a sense of accomplishment and recognition. There’s nothing better than having a reason to celebrate.


It’s important to forge the connection between employees and the communities in which they live and work by giving back. Here’s where your work and personal life can come together in brilliant harmony.

Saving the most important ‘C’ for last, let’s talk about the one thing that can make or break a company’s ability to create a workforce of engaged employees.


The simple act of providing context for decisions is the most powerful thing a leader can do to foster the right environment where engagement can thrive. Nothing rips at the fabric of trust more than not knowing or understanding why a decision was made. It’s okay to share the bad news, but at least let employees know the reason behind it. If you have to announce layoffs, explain the business reason driving that decision. If you are granting employees something positive, like a performance-related bonus, give them the facts behind the decision so they can see how their hard work is paying off with strong results for the company.

If you remember nothing else from this post, never forget to give people context. It works in your personal life as well. No matter the situation, everyone wants to know the why behind the what. Context helps to provide clarity, direction and meaning as it serves to get everyone aligned on the same page.

If you ask parents how many times they heard their children respond “Why?” to a request, the answer will probably be “too many times to count.” However, if you provide the context beforehand you might be able to lessen the number of whys down the road and head off that headache before it starts.

Since my keyboard is stuck, I am giving up on the rest of the alphabet for now. I hope these 6 C’s become your foundation to creating an environment where passion, performance and productivity come together in an abundance of engagement.