I’m a sucker for a cool acronym and I’m all about the care and feeding of people in the workplace, so it was only natural that I combine my guidance on engagement into a model called FEAD-ME.

FEAD-ME stands for Fit-Expectations-Autonomy-Development-Meaning-Engaging.

FIT – Ensure people are a good match for the job and for the culture. Get this right and the rest of engagement is a whole lot easier.

EXPECTATIONS – Be clear about what you expect from employees, both in terms of work deliverables and day-to-day behavior.

AUTONOMY – Tell people what you want, then give them the freedom and autonomy to choose the way work is done.

DEVELOPMENT – Commit to and invest in developing the whole person, not just technical competencies, but personal development as well.

MEANING – Provide shared vision and purpose and help align individual work and values so that people feel their work is important and valued.

ENGAGE – Proactively engage people in important and challenging work. Rather than think of engagement as a noun or static state, turn it into a verb and think of it as something you proactively and dynamically do.