How engaged are your employees? If you don’t know the answer to that question, it’s high time you take a look at your employee engagement strategies. Having solutions in place for employees who are disengaged will help you improve retention, increase productivity, and ultimately take you business to the top of the pyramid.
“The more engaged they are, the better it is for the organization.”
What is Employee Engagement?
Employee engagement measures how enthusiastic and dedicated a worker is to their employer’s success. It is the emotional connection or commitment that an employee has to the organization that then causes the employee to want to put forth the additional effort to ensure the organization and the brand succeed.
Your employee engagement strategy should outline:
- How you’ll measure engagement—whether via an employee engagement survey or lagging indicators like turnover, absenteeism, and productivity
- Goals for improving those metrics
- Your budget for engagement-related initiatives
- Clear tactics for how you’ll improve engagement, which can include any of the tactics we get into next
Why are Employee Engagement Strategies Important?
- Better customer satisfaction
- Improved productivity and efficiency
- Reduction of staff turnover
- Lowered absenteeism
- Enhanced company culture
- Better business outcomes
- Decrease number of safety incidents
Top Leadership Best Practices That Improve Employee Engagement
1. Conduct an employee engagement survey
Before you can work on improving employee engagement, you need to know where your baseline is. That’s where an employee engagement survey comes in. There are several different ways you can structure the employee engagement survey, including:
- Rating statements on a scale
- Open-ended questions
- Multiple-choice questions
The questions in an employee engagement survey should address the everyday experiences of employees, how they interact with management, and the overall company mission. It’s important that employees be able to respond anonymously so they provide honest feedback.
2. Provide Extra Employee Perks and Privileges
As competition for top talent has skyrocketed over the last decade, extra little perks and privileges have sprung up. Some popular perks include:
- Gym memberships
- Commuter benefits
- Continuing education coverage
- Home office stipends
- Equity packages
Many of these are table stakes for talented, engaged employees today. Researchers said,
“Having these kinds of extras can keep them sane, improving their mental health, thus keeping them engaged. Employees need something to help them de-stress, and these activities will help them rejuvenate their energy in preparation for another work week.”
3. Think holistically
Given how much time is spent at work, it’s no surprise that employees want their workplace to be a pleasant one. This covers everything from the space in which they work to the small perks like coffee and snacks. Changing the environment to better suit your employees shows them that you value their comfort.
4. Recognize Good Work
Two out of three employees feel they do not get enough recognition for their work. As a result, most employees will not deliver their maximum potential and may engage in unwanted behaviour. Also, highly-trained and qualified talent is always looking for better options out there.
For this reason, it is wise to create a recognition-rich environment where good work is rewarded with perks and incentives
5. Focus on diversity and inclusion for better engagement
The more diverse your team is in regards to age, gender, race, and ethnicity, the better they perform. Gartner Research found a 12 percent boost in performance among diverse teams, with a similar improvement in intent to stay at a job. Plus, having a team with different backgrounds and experiences discourages groupthink and is likely a more accurate representation of your customer base.
6. Make Employee Well-Being a Priority
With ever-connected devices, newly crowned home ‘offices’, and much of social life on hold for the past year, overwork and burnout are at an all-time high for many employees. And that’s no recipe for engagement. Providing resources or activities to deal with high-stress situations through team-based activities like a softball league or offering gym memberships helps show empathy for your employees and care for their overall wellness.
7. Boost engagement with better work-life balance
Maintaining work-life balance helps employees reduce stress and prevent burnout, two major factors in disengagement at work. The best way to help employees maintain a balance between the personal and professional is to promote flexibility.
Allowing employees to work from home, having a generous PTO policy, and providing paid parental and caregiver leave are all ways to help employees manage the demands of work and life without stress. Flexibility may come at a cost to employers but so does replacing dissatisfied employees.
8. Sketch a Success Roadmap
This applies most if you hire millennials in your organization. For many millennials, just coming to the office, doing the work assigned, and taking the paycheck back home is not enough. They are more conscious about where they will stand in the next five or ten years. They need to know there are sufficient growth prospects for the role they are fulfilling.
Sketching a proper roadmap of success is yet another pillar to a successful employee engagement strategy.
9. Increase transparency
It’s no good to work behind the scenes to increase engagement, employees should be updated often about what their leadership is up to.
Using strategies like all-organization meetings, weekly team updates and newsletters, an organization can let employees know that they are taking employee well-being seriously, and are working to make the organization a better place.
Employees will become more engaged simply by knowing that their leadership values them and is working to make the organization a better place.
10. Show employees that you listen
If you want truly engaged employees, your organization has to make the action a priority.
If there are complaints, there should also be solutions proposed and acted upon by the organization.
If employees feel like their complaints, suggestions and thoughts on improvement fall upon deaf ears, they will quickly stop trying to engage.
Keeping employees engaged means making them feel as though they are a valued member not just of a company but of a community. The more opportunity your staff has to engage in meaningful interactions and tasks in an environment that fosters creativity, inspiration, and collaboration, the more dedicated they’ll be to your company’s mission and ongoing success.
Checkout our blog on Microsoft Teams App for Better Team Engagement.