21st September 2021

Employee Engagement Ideas and Strategies

Keeping your employees engaged can be a driver of an organization or company’s success. Unfortunately, even though employers understand the importance of employee engagement, only a mere 33% of employees report feeling engaged, according to a recent Gallup poll. Employee engagement is vital in several ways. It’s associated with better employee retention and improved productivity. Yet, why do so many employees feel disengaged at work? How can employers tune in to offer what workers are looking for in terms of job satisfaction? Here, we’ll explore employee engagement strategies and create a workplace where employees feel connected and professionally fulfilled.  

What Is Employee Engagement?

For employers to promote and maintain employee engagement, they need to understand, really understand, what it is. Employee engagement occurs when employees are emotionally committed to their organization and its goals. When someone feels engaged in their organization, they feel connected to their role and feel driven to provide a strong level of support for shared success for themselves and their employer.   

Engaged employees generally feel committed to staying with their current employer and are willing to recommend the employer to other people seeking employment. The chief hallmark of an engaged employee is their willingness to put in their best work routinely. In short, these employees care about their work, their role, and the company.  

Employee Engagement Ideas

Companies who develop employee engagement programs or, at least, attempt to adopt some employee engagement best practices have various options to choose from. Indeed, employers out there feel like salary and benefits ought to be enough to engage their employees. Today’s workers want a different experience than, perhaps, workers of previous decades were content with. To foster employee engagement in your workplace and among remote employees, here are some strategies to consider:  

Institute Two-Way Communication

Many employers believe they nurture two-way communication and are open to employee feedback, but employees often tell different stories. As an executive or business leader, how often do you seek employee input, and how often do you receive it? Creating a policy stating that you “value employee input” doesn’t necessarily invite information. To find out what your employees are thinking about any relevant topics:

  1. Consider creating a survey to begin with.
  2. Ask for their feedback, but don’t stop with a survey.
  3. Invite feedback as a matter of course during both group and one-on-one meetings.
  4. Encourage two-way communication to convince employees that you genuinely value it.  

Reward Outstanding Work

Companies can promote better employee engagement by rewarding employees who go above and beyond. While employees often appreciate a fiscal reward, companies can also offer other perks like an additional personal day, lunch on the company, or some form of meaningful recognition. Employees who consistently give it their all do merit recognition, but failing to provide it can lead to employee dissatisfaction. Be sure that you take time to notice your employees’ outstanding efforts because if they go unnoticed for too long, your employees might be less inclined to put in their best work for an employer who doesn’t seem to care.   

Create a Healthy Workplace Culture

A workplace that does not value its healthy culture isn’t likely to retain top talent. A healthy workplace culture exudes respect among colleagues. Employers who care about their company’s culture will embrace diversity and inclusion, taking steps to achieve and protect these important attributes of workplace culture. Diversity and inclusion initiatives can help companies create a healthy organizational culture, but it takes ongoing maintenance to ensure that the culture remains a healthy one.   

Be Motivating (Not Bossy)

While it may be the boss’s prerogative ‘to boss’ employees around, this dynamic is so last century, and the last century before that, and–you get the idea. Employees want–and expect–a level of professional respect no matter what their role in the company happens to be. When a manager or even the CEO bosses an employee around in those ways that indicate the worst ‘bossy’ behavior, it communicates that the manager does not respect the employee. To demonstrate that you do respect your employees, strive to be motivating rather than bossy. Managers have the mandate to tell their employees what to do goes without saying and should require a negative form of expression. Bossiness doesn’t win employee engagement; it repels people and leads to an unnecessarily higher turnover rate.   

Encourage Work-Life Balance

Employers can foster employee engagement by promoting work-life balance. As an employer, it’s important to remember that your employees’ sole goal in life isn’t to make your company a success. Their goals are more personal; they want to continue to develop in their profession and support themselves and their families. By acknowledging their personal goals and demonstrating that you care about their personal lives, you’re more likely to encourage them to care about your goals. Getting back to that shared idea of success–you show you want good things for them, and they show they want good things for you.   

In organizations where employees are engaged, the organization tends to be healthy and benefits both employees and management. Engaged employees know that their employers care about their professional development and job satisfaction. In companies where employees feel disengaged, it’s often because employees feel undervalued. Use these ideas to show your employees that you value them, and you’ll be on your way to achieving a better workplace climate.   

Carson Tate is a business coach who can help you develop employee engagement programs, professional development programs for employees, and more. Contact her to schedule a consultation and take steps to create a healthier workplace for you and your employees.