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Episode 11:
| 8 min read

How to improve employee engagement

There is an endless discourse about how companies can improve their employee engagement. And the reason to retain high employee engagement allows entities to lower employee turnover rates, increase safety, and boost productivity. A uniform and high employee engagement rate works as a support strategy and builds the employer brand.

Gallup report highlights that, on average, over 50% of employees feel disengaged in the traditional work environment. And then there’s active disengagement that is triggered when employees experience negativity and toxicity in the workplace. In fact, 70% of the burden of responsibility falls on office managers to solely maintain team engagement.

Importance of Employee Engagement

Interestingly, companies with higher employee engagement rates report higher profit margins and productivity. On the other hand, disengaged workers cost companies over $450 billion a year. When the workspace is shrouded in secrecy and doesn’t put the spotlight on the employee, it is bound to distance most of its workforce.

There’s no rocket science when you think of how to increase employee engagement. In most cases, employees don’t want the luxurious facilities in the workplace – they value human connection and working in a quality workplace where they get recognition and rewards. Nonetheless, the higher the employee engagement – the more consistent growth organizations can achieve.

It is high time to recognize and implement the value of employee engagement and how it can help companies maximize their return on human capital investment. Improved employee engagement also opens up new opportunities for businesses to hit new performance benchmarks, generate more revenue, and drive unprecedented growth.

Keeping that in mind, let’s dive into the best practices and strategies to improve employee engagement:

Show Strong Leadership

It takes strong leadership to maintain a high employee engagement rate. It is up to the team leaders to bring employees on the same page and roll out new initiatives to address common obstacles of teams. Senior leadership can also play an active role in creating a supportive and transparent work environment that can render high employee satisfaction and engagement.

Set Clear Goals

Right from the start, ensure employee engagement goals are clear. Think of these goals as benchmarks to navigate employee engagement initiatives. It will make it easier to see which goals you’ve reached so far.

Follow the lead of most companies that use SMART goal setting to create measurable, attainable, relevant and time-sensitive goals. Ensure your established goals are specific. For instance, calculate how many employees would likely recommend your organization as a great spot to work to others.

Time-bound goals are the most vital component of a solid employee engagement plan. Review and evaluate whether or not you’re achieving employee engagement goals on time and making any progress.

Measure Current Employee Engagement

Before you can set in motion new initiatives to increase employee engagement – you should be aware of your current employee engagement. It will help you understand where you stand and how far you have to progress to achieve a high employee engagement rate.

When it comes to improving employee engagement – it is a matter of making sense of qualitative data and visualizing it to see how you can perform better in different situations. As an office manager, you should always be on the lookout for how to measure employee engagement.

And what better way to improve your employee engagement than by measuring your existing employee engagement. You can dive into email and data analytics to collect concrete information on employee retention and employee engagement.

Communicate Pre-defined Company Values

Right after onboarding, managers should communicate pre-determined organizational values to the employees. But it all boils down to “how” you communicate these values to workers. The last thing companies should do is adopt a monotonous tone to share this information.

Instead, add a personal touch and directly communicate your company values in a cohesive and authentic manner to make employees feel engaged. Try to sync your internal communication so employees can better understand leadership communication and company newsletters.

Remember, you cannot separate your organizational communication and workplace culture. You can use unique graphics, slogans, and logos to create a single company voice that demonstrates your business mission and vision.

Optimize Onboarding Process

Effective onboarding programs can keep employees engaged over 50% more than the ineffective and unstructured onboarding process. When employees understand the guidelines and structure of the onboarding process, they form a better understanding of their potential role in the organization.

It also helps potential employees in the onboarding process to get more support and find resources to learn more information about the company. For example, you can use a custom onboarding email template that can make it easier to communicate with potential employees.

Get Employees’ Feedback Regularly

You don’t have to endlessly dwell on what’s missing from the organization. Directly ask employees for feedback and address gaps and inconsistencies to improve employee engagement. With employee feedback, you can better understand the needs of your employees in a personal tone.

Many organizations use employee feedback to empower workers in different aspects of their jobs. You can use efficient and fast employee surveys to collect feedback and find new ways to improve employee engagement.

Provide Attractive Professional Development and Training Opportunities

Progressive companies know how to convert their new hires into long-term assets. And one of the most practical ways to improve employee engagement is to provide them with professional development and training opportunities so that they can learn new skills and accelerate their career growth within the organization.

You can create a webinar series about how professional development can help employees improve their job performance and individual skills. Remember, it is not enough to put in place professional development programs - companies have to proactively communicate these options to boost employee engagement.

A simple tactic would be to use weekly company newsletters to promote professional development programs and convince employees to take advantage of features and resources. Similarly, ensure employees get market-competitive benefits and compensation.

Prioritize Team-Building Tasks

Employees spend 40 hours communicating with their colleagues, which makes office relationships crucial to employee engagement. Team building tasks are opportunities to foster more trust and encourage employees to be communicative and collaborative.

Office managers can also use team-building activities to improve workplace dynamics and address internal conflicts. In the digital age, virtual team-building activities are also great for keeping remote employees engaged. Companies can create virtual events using dedicated software solutions and tools like in-person events.

Prioritize Employees’ Health and Wellness

You cannot treat your workplace like a mining factory and set impractical benchmarks for your employees that may lead to burnout. In the post-pandemic era, companies have to prioritize the health and wellness of their employees in the workplace.

If a skilled and high performer fails to complete a task before a deadline, find out whether or not the employee is going through mental or physical burnout. You can also create workplace health and wellness initiatives like extending employees’ vacation days and providing added perks like therapy and gym subscriptions. The more you actively pay close attention to employees’ needs - the clearer picture you can form about their mental and physical health.

You can also make the feedback anonymous so that employees feel more comfortable talking about their mental and physical stress in the workplace. And this feedback will help you create a work-life balance in the workplace and improve employee engagement in the process.

Recognize and Celebrate Employee Achievements

Ask yourself; why an employee would want to work in a place that doesn’t reward, recognize, or celebrate its workers. So, recognize and celebrate the most valued employees. It will also build up team morale and help you identify the real potential of more employees.

Collect positive feedback in daily interactions. You can conduct weekly meetings to discuss the impressive progress of certain employees and then a monthly meeting to recognize and celebrate their achievements.

Even if you run a small organization, employee recognition can make all the difference. In fact, even when an employee hits standard benchmark targets – it warrants celebration and recognition so that the employee can feel valued in the workplace and continue to perform well.

Create Mentorship Programs

New hires need guidance the most in a company. With a custom mentorship program, you can gain the trust of your workforce and help employees achieve their professional development objectives faster. It will also help employees take direct actions with more confidence and follow a lucrative career path.

You can send a survey via the company newsletter to ask who wants to be part of the mentorship program. Also, ask employees about their areas of interest, schedule, and career goals. Visualize, centralize, and compare responses on a dashboard.

Consequently, it will make cross-referencing answers easy and allow you to pair specific employees with the right mentor within the company. Strategic mentorship programs can help drive innovation and create an inclusive and diverse workplace.

Offer Multiple Work Options

Higher workplace flexibility translates into improved employee engagement and productivity. So, give new and existing employees an option to work remotely. You can also create a hybrid work model so employees can work-from-home and come to the office on alternate days.

You can use pulse surveys to determine the work schedule your employees want to work at and ensure there is no disconnection among employees. You can still provide added flexibility if you don’t have a hybrid or remote work model for your employees. Offer early departure or late start options to employees.

Plan Company Dinners and Outings

One of the most effective ways to keep a higher employee engagement rate is to plan company dinners and outings regularly. While quarterly dinners can be special events for the company, it wouldn’t hurt to plan regular outings so that employees and management can get together.

When employees and management bond - collaboration and communication standards are bound to improve. Typically, establishing organizational relationships via company dinners and outings is a common practice. Companies can use these events to support diversity and inclusivity in the workplace.

Conduct Employee Engagement Surveys Regularly

Companies should make the most out of standard employee engagement surveys to better understand how employees work in their establishments. One of the focal points of conducting employee engagement surveys on a regular basis is to make workers feel valued.

In fact, managers have to be at the forefront and give each employee the freedom to raise their honest opinions. More input means more feedback, which is an essential component of employee engagement. From Google to Microsoft, small and mid-sized companies can take inspiration from tech giants to uniquely conduct employee engagement surveys. For instance, companies can use quick pulse surveys to give their employees a genuine voice.

How Should Your Company Approach Employee Engagement?

Contrary to naïve misconceptions, better benefits and higher pay don’t guarantee employee satisfaction and engagement. It takes extra effort to drive employee engagement throughout the year. In most cases, all it takes for companies is to get involved and listen to the needs of employees.

Improving employee engagement is a continuous effort that requires managers to make relevant changes that align with the company budget and culture. From the perspective of a company manager, it is common to wonder how to improve employee engagement. And the answer is often more straightforward than most managers realize.

Today, employee engagement is more than a buzzword – it is an organizational practice to curb employee turnover. Once employees feel engaged and part of the company, they become more committed, energetic, and passionate about tasks and activities.

In fact, high employee engagement propels workers to bring their A-game and help the organization optimize operations through productivity. Ultimately, it is vital to understand that all companies’ infrastructure revolves around operational processes, tools, and people to take care of complex to simple tasks.

Final Thoughts

Without engaged employees, companies run into unexpected barriers that add up more costs and lead to more work. In 2023, businesses expect operational processes and tasks to get more complex. And this makes employee engagement more important.

Once companies start to see employees as long-term investments – it becomes easier to make organizational changes that work in favor of employees. Part of the process is to cut out traditional hurdles that create disruptive work conditions and force employees to operate in a “survival of the fittest” mindset.

With engaged employees, companies can address complex tasks. In the digital and tech-driven age, it makes sense for companies to let their employees operate in a less bureaucratic hierarchal structure. More companies are now investing in employees’ physical and mental health to reduce turnover and positively engage employees.

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