Employee engagement is a big deal, and it’s proven to be a major factor in the success of companies. An engaged workforce means happier, more creative employees who are willing to go the extra mile for their employers.
Every business owner knows that employees are the heart and soul of their company.
Therefore, there is no need to explain why employee engagement is so important. The result of high engagement is almost zero turnovers, which prevents recruiting costs and ensures happy customers.
Employee engagement can help drive your company forward, but how do you ensure your employees are engaged, inspired, and enjoying their jobs?
I’ve put together some of the best ideas to nurture an employee engagement strategy at your company. Read on.
1. Make the Onboarding Experience Wonderful
For a new hire, the onboarding process can be one of the most stressful points in his or her career. If you are going through the trouble of hiring someone, make sure to also invest some time in creating a great onboarding process for them.
New employees are specially wired to make an extra effort to impress.
So, take the opportunity to make a great first impression when company culture and expectations are still fairly fragile.
For starters, don’t skip or skimp on onboarding. Treat new employees like customers and provide as much as you can to make them feel welcome and valued immediately.
Also, remember that onboarding is more than just completing paperwork. It’s an exciting experience that helps to create a lasting impression.
Welcome new hires with a thoughtful program that introduces them to your organization’s culture and values.
2. Create A Feedback-Safe Work Environment
As an employer, one of the most important things you can do for your company is to promote a culture of feedback.
Research shows that 65% of employees feel they would work better if they receive feedback. This can lead to poor organizational performance and high turnover.
The way to turn this around is by truly creating a feedback-safe work environment where employees feel comfortable sharing ideas and suggestions.
Employees are more likely to voice their concerns and opinions when they know their feedback will be taken seriously and acted upon.
Besides, appreciated employees are more engaged and, therefore, more productive. As a leader, you want to get to know your team for the sake of personalization, but also to make them feel appreciated when you recognize who they are.
3. Challenge Your Employees to A Workplace Contest
I’m not saying your employees don’t get along, but there is a way to make the workplace more fun while making everybody more productive: Hold a contest. A workplace contest is a great way to boost workplace morale and motivate employees.
You can even sweeten the deal with prizes and other incentives if you want to boost participation. Plus, they can be as simple or elaborate as you want. It can be anything from a healthy living competition to a sales challenge.
The latter is common in business because you’re encouraging your employees to look for new sales opportunities, which has obvious benefits for your company.
Or, you could go with a more elaborate option such as an ongoing scavenger hunt in which employees receive clues via email.
When employees are allowed to explore their competitive natures and have fun doing so, everyone wins.
4. Allow Employees to Work Together on Internal Projects At Least Once A Week
Bring together the best and brightest minds in your company for a full day of community engagement, new policy development, and peer learning. Solving problems in this way can be done once a month, or even more often. Your employees will thank you.
Try to set up internal volunteer committees (such as community outreach, mentoring, and social events) that meet weekly.
Then let employees voluntarily choose which groups they wanted to be a part of. They’ll also work with people they might not otherwise get a chance to speak with—and feel connected through a common goal.
Allow employees to team up and create something for your business. By getting them involved in the creation of something that matters, you’ll see real improvements in their performance.
5. Build A Sense of Community By Incentivizing Socialization Among Employees
One of the best things you can do to improve a sense of community in your organization is to remove barriers among colleagues. If your team is entirely remote or works on different schedules, set up a time for phone calls or video conferences every day.
In the office, encourage managers and employees to take breaks together in the lunchroom, lobby, or outdoors.
Without creating a sense of community among employees, it’s hard for them to become emotionally invested in the future of your company.
Although your employees spend more time together than they do with their own families, they don’t always take advantage of this.
There’s no substitute for a lunch break conversation or an after-work beer, which is why I encourage you to find ways to incentivize socialization. Even cheesy team-building exercises can be an excuse to bring your staff together outside of work hours, and that alone might be worth it.
By sharing passions, interests, and experiences beyond the daily grind, employees can form stronger bonds and become real friends. Taking time out of their workday to bond with each other rewards them for their teamwork and increases their sense of belonging.
6. Establish Measurable Metrics For Employee Satisfaction And Performance
Employee engagement impacts your business outcomes. That’s why successful companies create a culture of employee engagement through a formal strategy, an ongoing process. And last but not least, measurable metrics to track the impact on business goals.
Metrics allow you to quantify employee performance and satisfaction. The right metrics will help your business determine whether or not it is investing the right resources in its employees.
Employee engagement strategies improve productivity and create a culture of accountability.
A great strategy is to establish measurable metrics for employee satisfaction and performance. High employee engagement in the workplace isn’t an end goal. It’s just a measurement tool.
To set yourself up for success, identify what you want to improve and pick appropriate metrics to measure your progress along the way. Then, reward your employees when all the metrics are achieved.
7. Encourage Employees To Suggest Enhancements And New Features Continuously
Help your employees take pride in their work by encouraging them to improve and update systems, processes, and procedures. This will also engage them in the bigger picture, rather than just doing as they are told.
Cultivating a workplace where employees are encouraged to make suggestions for improvement and new ideas is key to sustaining an innovating high impact culture. It’s also important that you respond positively to all company responses and handle them transparently.
Whatever form suggestions take, share them with everyone and invite others to comment. By constantly displaying suggestions you will encourage more people to offer their ideas.
Also, provide opportunities for all employees to suggest product enhancements and new features to increase employee engagement.
8. Kick Off A Healthy Competition Where Short Term Goals Drive Up Engagement Levels
A good approach to employee engagement is to come up with a series of short-term goals and incentivize employees for achieving them.
Boost engagement by creating a man-on-man competition. Divide the team up into two groups and set short-term goals.
Measure the performance of each group at the end of a defined period. The group with the better performance receives a reward.
By building a competitive spirit among the teams, you will boost employee engagement and motivation to perform their best. A straightforward example would be for employees to join a step challenge and compete against each other to achieve the most steps.
Besides, many health and fitness apps incorporate gamification into their products, such as FitBit’s badges, fitness tracking, and leaderboards for weight loss and activity goals.
Now you can apply this same principle to increasing employee engagement by creating friendly competition in the workplace.
9. Offer a Flexible Work Schedule
Providing flexible work schedules is an easy way to keep employees happy and reap significant boosts in productivity.
Furthermore, a flexible schedule can offer a healthy balance between work life and personal life. Offer a flexible work schedule to help employees manage their work and life demands outside of work.
Whether it’s daycare pick-up, doctor appointments, or a long lunch on the golf course, a flexible work schedule can be a great way to enhance employee engagement.
Full-time employees will likely still be expected to put in 40 hours a week, but beyond that, flexibility is the key.
Working 9-to-5 and taking 2 weeks of vacation a year sounds great in theory, but in reality, it might not work for your employees.
Consider offering a more flexible work schedule so that your teammates are happier, healthier, and more productive at work.
10. Provide Excellent Training Resources
Want to keep your employees happy? Provide them with excellent training resources. Well-trained, happy employees will remember and value the company that provided their education.
Providing excellent training resources ensures that your employees are equipped to succeed in the role.
Considering the time and effort you’ve put into sourcing, interviewing, and recruiting, it makes sense to do all you can to ensure their success.
Every organization has its own culture, but there are some core practices that every company can adopt to boost employee engagement.
Think about how you can better support and invest in your team’s career development. Additionally, provide inspiring professional experiences, promote open communication, and lead with a coaching mindset.
Training programs that provide employees with the skills they need to do their jobs well will go a long way toward maintaining high levels of employee engagement.
11. Listen To Your Employees
If you want a productive workplace, the first thing you need to do is listen to what your employees have to say. It’s been proven time and time again that the best way to increase employee engagement is through one-on-one communication.
If you want your employees to feel valued, it’s not just important that they be heard, but also that they see their ideas being implemented.
Listening is the glue that holds together any relationship and your employees are no exception.
Why should employers focus on a high level of employee engagement?
A highly engaged workforce means the difference between a company that outperforms its competitors and one that fails to grow.
Companies struggle to engage their employees and to make them feel like part of their growth and success. When the workforce is happy, performance improves and so does profitability.
Are there elements you can use to improve employee engagement at your workplace?
Employees are the key to your business’s success. That’s why keeping them engaged and happy is essential for a great workplace.
You can use employee engagement activities to show your employees that you care about them, enjoy having them around, and recognize their time and hard work.
Can you motivate your staff without offering rewards?
Yes, you can. As good as it is to reward your employees, it can be just as important to show them how much you care about them.
Give them praise and credit when they deserve it, listen to their feedback, and validate their ideas.
If your company is looking to improve employee engagement, the ideas above can surely take you there. If you can do this, then you stand a good chance of establishing a positive work environment for your employees.
The main idea behind employee engagement is to get your team to commit to their job and make them feel like they are an integral part of your company.
The best companies have high employee engagement, meaning that employees are happy and fulfilled in their roles.
Whenever possible, managers and employers should reward their employees who are diligent and engage well in their work.
One way to do this is through employee recognition. If this sounds like something you want to try out, read the article outlining the top employee recognition ideas.
Thanks for reading.