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The FORD Method for Employee Engagement

By Amy Querin

The FORD Method for Employee Engagement

By Amy Querin

The truth of the matter is – you get employee engagement by being engaged with your employees. It’s a relatively simple concept that makes all the sense in the world, yet we often see companies feeling stuck with high turnover rates and a lack of engagement.   

There are many different reasons why employees become disengaged or are never engaged in the first place, but one of the biggest reasons is that they feel their employer doesn’t care about them. Whether they feel their branch, their team, or they as individuals aren’t valued, it all leads to the same thing – a mindset of “if they don’t care about me, then I don’t care about them.”   

Boost yourengagement with your employees leads to an increase in theirlevel of engagement with you and your company. That’s all there is to it.   

Of course, that may not always be as easy as it sounds… So let’s get practical – here’s an example of how we like to engage with our employees.  

FORD Method 

No, this isn’t a method where we give everyone a Ford vehicle. FORD is an acronym.  

F Family  

O Occupation  

R Recreation  

D Dreams  

This is not just another business technique. In fact, it’s a conversation technique that can be adapted to business. So, as an added bonus, if you find you’re in one of those awkward conversation lulls or if you feel that you’re always in one of them, try the FORD Method for learning about others and generating small talk.  

Sample FORD Method Questions 

Here are a few questions you can start with to see how to use the FORD Method for business or personal situations.  

F – Family 

Is your family from this area?  

Have you taken a fun family vacation anywhere that you enjoyed?  

Do you have any children? Tell me about them!  

O – Occupation 

What do you do for a living?  

What’s your dream job?  

How did you end up in this career?  

R – Recreation

What’s are your favorite hobbies/things to do in your free time?  

How do you like to recharge after a busy week?  

Are you involved in any local groups/organizations?  

D – Dreams 

Where do you see yourself in five years?  

What is one thing you’ve always wanted to do?  

If you could visit anywhere, right now, where would you go?  

Some of the questions are crossovers and can fit in more than one category, but you get the idea. Asking these questions and really listening to the answers tells you what’s important to that person. It gives you insight into the things that matter most to them.  

How to Use the FORD Method at Work 

We have a few different ways we use the FORD Method and we’ve heard about some wonderful ways our Partners are using it. These are just a few suggestions that you can use that might inspire a fresh idea that you can use.   

  • Favorite Snacks. Why stock the office snack room with generic treats? Why not ask each employee what their favorite is and keep it on hand? This is a simply way to show you listen and care.   
  • Holiday Options. Have you ever worked for a company that gave out a gift certificate for turkey to everyone at the holidays? What about the vegans? What about single people without family? What about those people who simply don’t like turkey? It’s a nice idea on paper but in reality, you’re not really considering everyone. Creating a list of holiday options and letting your employees pick is so much more inclusive and appreciated.  
  • Wild Card. More companies are giving options to people who have earned rewards or who are celebrating employment milestones. While we think this is fantastic and fun, there are still those people who don’t like to pick their own gifts – the gift then loses value. Give these people a wild card option where you select the gift. If you’ve paid attention to their FORD clues, you should be able to come up with something golden!  
  • Gifting. No, we’re not talking about giving gifts to the employee this time – rather, giving to their favorite charity. There are a lot of people who are driven to help and contribute to something outside of themselves. Have your employees list their top three charities and consider donating to those charities. You can think outside of the box with this – it doesn’t always have to be a financial contribution. Instead, consider a company-wide day set aside to cleaning a local park, a group event at a local food pantry, or a toy/clothing drive are all great ways to show you’re willing to contribute to the things that matter most to your employees.   
  • Adopt Changes. Another wonderful way to use FORD Method is to listen to your employees when they are unhappy about something at work. If their point is valid, take the steps needed to remedy the situation. At the end of the day, it’s about being the best place to work and that requires a little flexibility.  

When you really get the FORD Method working for you, you show your employees that you care about them and you’re engaged in their lives. You’re creating a wonderful work experience and culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion of each individual.   

Connect with our team at to learn more about how you can use the FORD Method with our Manage 4 Performance™ software to boost engagement and thrive.  

The truth of the matter is – you get employee engagement by being engaged with your employees. It’s a relatively simple concept that makes all the sense in the world, yet we often see companies feeling stuck with high turnover rates and a lack of engagement.   

There are many different reasons why employees become disengaged or are never engaged in the first place, but one of the biggest reasons is that they feel their employer doesn’t care about them. Whether they feel their branch, their team, or they as individuals aren’t valued, it all leads to the same thing – a mindset of “if they don’t care about me, then I don’t care about them.”   

Boost yourengagement with your employees leads to an increase in theirlevel of engagement with you and your company. That’s all there is to it.   

Of course, that may not always be as easy as it sounds… So let’s get practical – here’s an example of how we like to engage with our employees.  

FORD Method 

No, this isn’t a method where we give everyone a Ford vehicle. FORD is an acronym.  

F Family  

O Occupation  

R Recreation  

D Dreams  

This is not just another business technique. In fact, it’s a conversation technique that can be adapted to business. So, as an added bonus, if you find you’re in one of those awkward conversation lulls or if you feel that you’re always in one of them, try the FORD Method for learning about others and generating small talk.  

Sample FORD Method Questions 

Here are a few questions you can start with to see how to use the FORD Method for business or personal situations.  

F – Family 

Is your family from this area?  

Have you taken a fun family vacation anywhere that you enjoyed?  

Do you have any children? Tell me about them!  

O – Occupation 

What do you do for a living?  

What’s your dream job?  

How did you end up in this career?  

R – Recreation

What’s are your favorite hobbies/things to do in your free time?  

How do you like to recharge after a busy week?  

Are you involved in any local groups/organizations?  

D – Dreams 

Where do you see yourself in five years?  

What is one thing you’ve always wanted to do?  

If you could visit anywhere, right now, where would you go?  

Some of the questions are crossovers and can fit in more than one category, but you get the idea. Asking these questions and really listening to the answers tells you what’s important to that person. It gives you insight into the things that matter most to them.  

How to Use the FORD Method at Work 

We have a few different ways we use the FORD Method and we’ve heard about some wonderful ways our Partners are using it. These are just a few suggestions that you can use that might inspire a fresh idea that you can use.   

  • Favorite Snacks. Why stock the office snack room with generic treats? Why not ask each employee what their favorite is and keep it on hand? This is a simply way to show you listen and care.   
  • Holiday Options. Have you ever worked for a company that gave out a gift certificate for turkey to everyone at the holidays? What about the vegans? What about single people without family? What about those people who simply don’t like turkey? It’s a nice idea on paper but in reality, you’re not really considering everyone. Creating a list of holiday options and letting your employees pick is so much more inclusive and appreciated.  
  • Wild Card. More companies are giving options to people who have earned rewards or who are celebrating employment milestones. While we think this is fantastic and fun, there are still those people who don’t like to pick their own gifts – the gift then loses value. Give these people a wild card option where you select the gift. If you’ve paid attention to their FORD clues, you should be able to come up with something golden!  
  • Gifting. No, we’re not talking about giving gifts to the employee this time – rather, giving to their favorite charity. There are a lot of people who are driven to help and contribute to something outside of themselves. Have your employees list their top three charities and consider donating to those charities. You can think outside of the box with this – it doesn’t always have to be a financial contribution. Instead, consider a company-wide day set aside to cleaning a local park, a group event at a local food pantry, or a toy/clothing drive are all great ways to show you’re willing to contribute to the things that matter most to your employees.   
  • Adopt Changes. Another wonderful way to use FORD Method is to listen to your employees when they are unhappy about something at work. If their point is valid, take the steps needed to remedy the situation. At the end of the day, it’s about being the best place to work and that requires a little flexibility.  

When you really get the FORD Method working for you, you show your employees that you care about them and you’re engaged in their lives. You’re creating a wonderful work experience and culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion of each individual.   

Connect with our team at to learn more about how you can use the FORD Method with our Manage 4 Performance™ software to boost engagement and thrive.  

 

Post Categories: Insights
Date Published: Aug 23, 2021
Post Categories: Insights
Date Published: Aug 23, 2021