How to keep employees engaged?


As a company owner or manager, what can we do to improve employee engagement and productivity?

In the current climate, many businesses are focusing on remote working and work as we knew it is a distant past. The world is changing bringing new challenges and exciting opportunities.

But how do we keep our teams going and what can we do to help them stay focused? Here are a few ways to help with our employee’s engagement and productivity.

  • Keep in touch with our employees (but not too often)

Regular meetings to catch up on work and see how everybody is are fine. Don’t overdo it though with daily morning and afternoon meetings. We don’t need to start micromanaging or it could have the opposite effect. The right employees know what they have to do anyway.

  • Make our employees feel valued

Giving some recognition goes a long way. A big “thank you” for helping with an issue, a “well done”, a “can you help me with…” or “what do you think about…” when you need help or ideas. These have a huge impact on the way the teams look at the company and they will respect us for it. It’s not all about the money, their well-being is more important.

  • Don’t overload them with work (but make sure they have something to do)

Keep an eye on the workload. Too much work will end in something not being done properly or done in a rush. At the same time, no work will make employees feel demotivated and unengaged. If there isn’t much work at the moment, get employees to help with some research or administrative tasks. See what fits with your business but keep everybody busy doing something meaningful. Meaningful here being the keyword.

  • Help and support them (and tell them it’s okay to ask for help)

Employees should feel supported in everything they do so we must make sure we help them if they need help. If you can’t yourself then find someone who can. Make sure they know they can always ask for help or advice and that you will do something about it.

  • Invest in training and development

Offer professional or personal development opportunities and you will improve your employee retention. You don’t need to train everybody at the same time. Scatter the training and plan it at an individual or team level.


Find out how language training can help your business. Book a free consultation on 01273 222900 or email


Carole Jacquet


The Language Guru

Stuck for a useful gift for the person who has everything? The Language Guru has the answer

There are several types of people for whom choosing a Christmas present can be challenging:

  • The friend who seems to have everything
  • The colleague who thinks they know it all
  • The boss who needs to stop working and get a life
  • The friend who should get out more and meet new people
  • The next-door neighbour who’s going abroad for their first holiday abroad
  • The family members who are buying a second home in another country and need to negotiate in the native language to get a better deal
  • And we’re sure you can think of many more

How about giving them the gift of language this festive season?

A gift voucher from The Language Guru can be purchased from as little as £10 and works across our language services.

Just imagine the thanks you’ll get from those friends, colleagues, family members and neighbours! You’ll be a superstar in their eyes!

Did you know …

The first gift card using a payments infrastructure was introduced by Neiman Marcus in late 1994 though Blockbuster Entertainment was the first company to do so on a wide scale, test-marketing them in 1995 and launching them around the USA the next year. In the beginning, the Blockbuster gift card replaced gift certificates that were being counterfeited with recently introduced colour copiers and colour printers.

Although gift vouchers might appear to be an easy option to buy for someone, at The Language Guru they’re actually allowing the recipient to make their own choice of language as well as when, where and how they learn. Language learning at its best!

Email us at to buy a gift voucher from us now.

And Season’s Greetings to one and all from everyone at The Language Guru.


With thanks to

We pay our respects to the late, great Charles Aznavour

This month, we take a look back at the life and career of one of France’s greatest performers.

He was a rather unlikely heart-throb to those who remember him from his early career, one which lasted some 80 years. At just 5ft 3in tall, Charles Aznavour was almost 50 before he had his first hit in the UK.

Charles wrote more than 1,200 songs, including the classic tearjerker ‘She’ and was a star in him home country where he was France’s Frank Sinatra.

Last month (September 2018), Charles Aznavour died aged 94.

Born Varenagh Aznavourian, he was born in Paris in May 1924, the son of Armenian immigrants who had fled from persecution in Turkey and were staying in the French capital temporarily while waiting for a US visa.

Forced by lack of money to give up school at the age of nine, he was determined to be an entertainer and by 11, he was playing child roles at the Theatre Marigny.

He had a long career as a film actor and in 1941 he teamed up with actor Pierre Roche to write songs. In a nine-year partnership they wrote for French stars Maurice Chevalier, Gilbert Bécaud and Edith Piaf.

Charles’ big break came when Piaf, who admired his voice, invited him to accompany her on a tour of France and the United States. With her encouragement, Aznavour launched himself on a solo career in 1950, singing his own songs.


With stage performances mainly described as the epitome of French romance, one critic wrote: “To put one’s self before the public with such a voice and such a physique is pure folly.”

But Aznavour’s mournful love songs, delivered by his throaty tenor voice, did catch on and in 1955 success came with the song ‘Sur Ma Vie’.

In 1965 he opened the first of his long-running one-man shows at the Olympia Music Hall in Paris, singing 30 of his own songs.

His first hit in Britain was ‘The Old-Fashioned Way’ in 1973, followed by ‘She’ in 1975.

Charles could sing in more than six languages and this made him popular around the world. His success, including worldwide sales of more than 180 million records, brought much wealth, and he lived in Switzerland for many years. However, in 1977 a French court fined him about £1m with a suspended one-year jail sentence, for tax evasion and currency offences. The following year he was ordered to pay £1m in tax arrears.

Aznavour combined singing with his acting career and appeared in more than 60 films. In 1982 he played himself as a struggling composer in the film ‘Edith et Marcel’, based on Piaf’s romance with a boxer. He was still performing in his nineties

In 1988, in response to the earthquake in Armenia, he formed his own charity to help the victims, including composing a song that featured a string of top French performers and topped the charts for more than four months.


Charles also took a deep interest in politics. During the 1992 French presidential elections he encouraged people to sing La Marseillaise in public to protest against the right-wing candidate Jean-Marie Le Pen, who had made it to the run-offs. He also campaigned vigorously for an extension of copyright law to protect the work of artists, authors and composers.

Aznavour had neither a great voice nor film-star looks but he did have immense song-writing talent and a mesmerising stage presence.

Along with Piaf and Chevalier he was one of France’s greatest singing stars.

Listen to Charles Aznavour in French to grasp the nuances of the lyrics

Why not practise your French and listen to one of Charles Aznavour’s greatest songs here:



With thanks to from which this obituary was sourced.