Six simple yet powerful Strategies for Agile coaches to Boost Employee Engagement

Gallup’s latest Global Employee Engagement survey show that only 13% employees are fully engaged and rest are either not engaged or actively dis-engaged. Traditional Managers and leaders who command a position within organization, usually exercise a  bit of authority, power, as well as resources (rewards, bonuses, recognition, etc) towards engaging people. Leadership experts and executive coaches take a route that usually involves, motivating and inspiring people, building trust, uniting everyone in the organization towards common mission, values, and goals. These work great however, need a lot of time, effort and resources.

Agile Coaches on the other hand, are in different situation altogether. Most of the Agile coaches usually command no power and authority within the organization. Yet, they aspire and commit to missions such as creating highly collaborative, self-organizing and high performing teams, developing learning organizations, helping people change behaviors etc. Think about a team that simply won’t speak up, people who would always show up late to meetings, people who prefer to work from closed door offices, team members who prefer they can do anything but contribute on the team, architects who do not share the architecture details with anyone except the leaders. Oh Boy!! there are many such behaviors that hinder teams and organizations from becoming truly Agile.

In this session, I will share six simple, easy to implement strategies and associated instances how I discovered these strategies that I've found very powerful in my experience. Agile coaches and anyone with no power and authority can apply any of these strategies to boost employee engagement, neutralize the environment from Whilte Elephants and promote collaboration. The session will be interactive and will involve simple yet really fun activity. Get ready to cheer and make some noise!!


Outline/Structure of the Talk

- Introduction: 5 min

- Strategies: 45 min (~7-8 min each) To put simply, the session would be like the story of the - SlumDog Millionaire movie, where the main character shares real life instances he went through. In this session, I'll go over six strategies listed below and associated instances that I've personally experienced and the powerful results that my team achieved.

   #1: Let 'em Express

   #2: Develop Clarity

   #3: Ask Them!!

   #4: Provide Frequent Feedback

   #5: Embed Fun

   #6: Surprise Them

- Activity: 10-12 min

- Activity debrief: 3 min

- Closing remarks and call to action: 3 min

- Q&A: 8 min

Learning Outcome

- Simple yet easy to implement strategies that can increase the employee engagement significantly.

- How can one engage team members to improve collaboration and create high performance without having authority and power?

- What particularly works well with introvert and 'not me' kind of team members?

- Facilitation skills that can come handy to increase engagement within the team.

Target Audience

Agile coaches, ScrumMasters, Leaders

schedule Submitted 4 years ago

Public Feedback

comment Suggest improvements to the Speaker
  • Ravi Kumar
    By Ravi Kumar  ~  4 years ago
    reply Reply

    Hi Kamlesh,

    I find the topic intriguing and looking for some specifics on the 6 steps outlined. I do see that there are lot of pictures in your slides as placeholder and you are also doing an activity. Here are my suggestions....

    1. Can you point to blog or writeup articulating the 6 steps that is outlined for 45 min.
    2. What is the activity about? Help me understand the relevance of the activity to the topic.
    3. Can the activity be decoupled from the talk and still be able to produce the learning outcomes.
    4. Is it possible to reduce the session to 45min minus the activity if it is possbile.

    I find it a challenging from the audience perspective to sit through a 90min talk unless there is something very complleing which I am unable to see in the proposal. Detailing the above points might help in this. Can you take a crack at this and get back to us at the earliest.


    Best regards,



    • Kamlesh Ravlani
      By Kamlesh Ravlani  ~  4 years ago
      reply Reply

      Hi Ravi,

      Thanks for your review and the queries.

      Yes, the images are a placeholders and they remind me of the associated story and emotions that I can share with others. I love the analogy that I heard from Chet Hendrickson - CST, consider the Cards of User Stories as Product Owner's vacation photo album. As soon she looks at a photo from the album, the associated vacation memories come alive for her and she can share those memories (requirements when we talk about the User Story) with others.

      The session is not a pure talk, however it wouldn't qualify to be called a pure workshop either. After discussing each strategy, I'll give a minute for the attendees to reflect on their unique situation and identify the possibility and a way to implement that strategy in their context. As, for some of the strategies I'm sharing different ways one can implement it.

      The 10 min long activity is focused on Embeding Fun. A way for the audience to experience it for themselves the state of being fully ENGAGED just with one strategy and obviously having fun. However the activity itself can't deliver the whole message of the session.

      Having facilitated this full session with a 90 minute slot earlier, I'm comfortable with a 90 minutes slot. However if the review team strongly feels that a 60 minute slot is more appropriate, I'm willing to squeeze it in 60 minutes. I think, 45 minutes may only suffice to share the message, but won't allow time for experiential learning and identifying take-aways. Let me know on this.

      Also, as I'm presenting a topic on boosting engagement, I've to be first assured myself that the session will be engaging for the audience :) and having it delivered once in a public forum, I'm positive to keep the audience engaged during the session.



  • Jerry Rajamoney
    By Jerry Rajamoney  ~  4 years ago
    reply Reply

    Hi Kamlesh,

    Nice topic. Is it possible for you to put down those "Strategies" in the outline? Without an insight to this it is very difficult to understand the depth of this talk.


    • Joel Tosi
      By Joel Tosi  ~  4 years ago
      reply Reply

      Hi Kamlesh,

         Could you please link to your deck from the Phoenix session?  That would help out quite a bit.



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