Employee engagement is critical to the overall success of an organization, but getting and keeping employees engaged is often a challenging prospect. To help boost engagement, become familiar with two important concepts in the workplace: shoves and tugs. Shoves are the issues that demotivate employees. They deplete energy, slow down productivity, and if left unchecked, will eventually “shove” the employee out the door. Tugs, on the other hand, are challenges that motivate and fulfill employees. These are situations that inspire productivity and effort and will keep the employee coming back every day. According to Mark Murphy, the ability to identify these issues can help managers keep their team engaged and retain employees. What’s important to understand, Murphy says, is that “shoves and tugs are not flip sides of the same coin.” Instead of coming up with ways to give employees more tugs, managers need to acknowledge and work to mitigate the shoves. Without addressing both elements, engagement policies and practices are likely to fail.
Employee Engagement: A Game of Shoves and Tugs
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