Elizabeth Michelle | CLASS CLOWNS PART 3: Know the person to engage the person.
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CLASS CLOWNS PART 3: Know the person to engage the person.

Engaging a diverse workforce is a challenge for all business leaders, but engaging teens for the last decade makes adults look easy!

How well do you really know your employees? Is it enough just knowing their work personas, or should you be digging deep into their personal lives as well?

In Part 3 of my Class Clowns series, I want to share my tools of understanding your employees, and finding the right balance between engaging and prying on your workforce:

Students who have close, supportive and personal relationships with their teachers attain higher levels of achievement and engagement. This is the same at work – honestly you can’t really do the two points above if you don’t know who you are working with!

When a student known for inappropriate comments (class clown type) raised his hand in assembly and then had nothing to say, I gave public recognition for the fact that he thought before he spoke and then held back. He beamed. I noticed this because I knew him.

Employees have told me that they would love their manager to stop and ask: ‘how is everything going?’ People will feel more engaged in an environment that they feel known and understood in.


Monthly catch-ups are invaluable. Follow-up on anything major mentioned: unwell relative, upcoming hospital appointment, ongoing divorce etc. Make time for team-building. Bring your kids to work day, family Xmas events, and so on, will engage the personal side of your employee – if you can get the fam on board, lengthy hours are easier to swallow!


  1. Don’t be a therapist – it’s important to know when to sign post.
  2. Work is work. When I say personal, I mean ‘work personal’, not….

Bottom Line: Getting to know employee personally opens up a whole new arena of personal engagement with work.


Elizabeth is a consultant who helps enhance staff potential,

performance and retention.

Elizabeth has a Joint-Honours Degree and Masters from the University of Cambridge in Education and Psychology, is a Qualified Teacher and is currently pursuing her Psychology Doctorate.

Elizabeth works in mental health in a range of settings including; schools, prison and counselling centres, exploring effective means of communication and maximising potential. As an educator and former assistant head of sixth form Elizabeth has had extensive experience working with millennials; improving their engagement in the workplace is an area of particular interest.

Elizabeth is available for tailored and personalised consultation and public speaking. She runs

engaging and relevant workshops, is experienced in enhancing millennial engagement, as well as running cultural diagnostics of companies.

You can reach Elizabeth at elizabeth@elizabethmichelle.co.uk.


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