22 Employee Engagement Ideas and Strategies for Companies
Why would you want to invest in employee engagement strategies? It makes good business sense. Employee engagement is like a chain reaction. A good work environment encourages employees to work harder. In turn, happy employees are more creative and productive, which results in higher profits and improved business development. The following examples represent company culture ideas you can put in place to increase employee engagement in your company.
What is Employee Engagement?
If you wanted to write an employee engagement definition, it would be that this term refers to the keenness that they feel toward their jobs. This includes:
Their attitude toward coworkers
Their relationship with supervisors
How they feel about the company culture
Their emotional attachment to the company itself
Why is Employee Engagement Important?
There are many benefits of employee engagement for an employer. If you are wondering whether you should implement an employee engagement action plan, consider the following advantages:
They are more motivated during training sessions. Employees who feel positive about their job and their place at the company learn faster and retain the information better than those who are simply “putting in time” to collect their paycheck.
They are more creative and will look for solutions for issues they encounter in the workplace on their own before consulting a manager. This frees up managers for other, more important duties.
Happy team members act as your company’s ambassadors. They can help spread the word about your company through social media posts.
Finally, you would want to boost employee engagement because it is one indicator that has a bearing on your bottom line. When you improve the employee experience, employee retention, productivity, and customer rates also tend to go up. As a result, profitability is also likely to grow.
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Improving Employee Engagement at Work
Are you wondering about specific steps you can take to keep your employees engaged at work? Here are some examples:
1. Hire new employees based on their attitude and personality.
The above point doesn’t mean that relevant education and experience don’t matter when trying to fill a vacant position – of course, they do! When the HR team is looking at two candidates with similar backgrounds, give the edge to the person with the attitude and personality you feel that will be the best fit for your organization.
This is the employment brand you want your company associated with. Someone can have great credentials on paper but if they can’t communicate well with colleagues they end up being a fly in the ointment of your company. That will become an ongoing problem for you over time.
2. Make your workplace reflect the community you serve through diversity in hiring.
It’s important to have a business that is sensitive to the needs of its customers. By employing a workforce that includes people of all ages and from different cultural backgrounds, you will have a better understanding of your customer base. Your company will also gain a reputation as HR leaders, and you may end up with a wider base of candidates to choose from when filling available positions.
3. Let all employees know that inclusion is one of your company values.
Let everyone know that all voices are welcome at your company. Engaged employees have ideas they are willing to share, either in meetings or by e-mail, with their managers. Encourage everyone to share their thoughts and ideas, even if the company does not decide to implement them.
4. Assign a buddy/mentor to each new hire.
Starting a new job can be stressful for a new team member. You want their employee journey to start on a positive note. Let your new employee know they have someone they can approach for help and advice in the early days of their employment and going forward. They can ask human resources for help, too. It will help the new person feel more comfortable as they get settled in and will allow them to picture themselves as long-term employees from the start.
5. Ensure employees have everything they need to do their work properly.
Make sure your workers have their basic needs looked after before you start thinking about other methods of trying to boost employee engagement. Invest in the specific tools and systems they need to do their work properly. If you can minimize distractions that waste time and lead to stress and frustration for your team members, it is a bonus for both of you. Productivity and employee happiness will increase.
6. Assign company values to an employee.
Each month, select one of your company values and assign it to an employee who exemplifies it. The employee will be selected by his or her peers. Make a point of announcing the person who best reflects the value to all your employees and on your company’s social media posts.
7. Establish a long-term employee engagement plan.
Improving employee engagement should be an ongoing part of your company culture. This is not something you can start to embrace for a year or two because it is trendy and then drop because it doesn’t seem to suit your business goals. When employee engagement is done right, it provides multiple benefits for a company. Ensuring positive experiences at work for employees should be considered a lifestyle for your business, not a fad.
8. Encourage employees to take care of their physical and mental health.
Start by setting a good example by looking after your health. See your doctor and dentist for regular check-ups. Make it easy for your employees to take time off from work to do the same.
9. Ask employees what they think by conducting employee engagement surveys
An employee may be spending more time at work than with their “significant other” (once you take into account time for sleep). Given the major time commitment involved, it’s vital that employees feel engaged at work and that their efforts matter. Conducting a confidential employee engagement survey at regular intervals will help you to keep track of what you are doing that employees like and areas they would like to see improved.
10. Ask employees which tasks they enjoy doing most, then let them do them as often as possible.
Employees want to do well at work and be appreciated by their employer. Those who feel appreciated will be engaged in their work. They also want to be given the chance to do their best work. All of these elements make for a great employee experience.
Managers often don’t know which employees are best suited to certain tasks. The manager doesn’t take the time to ask about team member passions and interests regarding their work or take the employees’ skills into account when assigning tasks. Let employees specify which tasks they especially like (and dislike) so that the manager can assign the employee tasks they like more often. The disagreeable tasks can be rotated throughout the team so that no one gets stuck with them all the time.
11. Establish an open-door policy for questions or concerns.
If you want your employees to feel comfortable being open with managers, they need to know that they can do so without concerns about being judged or criticized. It is not easy taking the initiative to approach a manager for a discussion. Let employees know that they can do so without fear of any negative consequences.
12. Recognize employees’ efforts for a job well done.
Employees who go above and beyond the call of duty should have their efforts recognized by their manager in some way. If you can’t reward your employee financially by giving them a bonus, see if you can give them some extra vacation time or gift certificates for dinner at a nice restaurant. Make sure the employee knows why they are receiving the reward and you will increase the likelihood that your employee will remain engaged going forward.
13. Consult with employees when deciding on an appropriate dress code.
Unless you are working in a very conservative industry (law or banking, for example), you may want to consider whether your employees really need to come to work wearing a business suit.
If your team members aren’t involved in client-facing roles, can they come to work wearing jeans and T-shirts if that is the attire that makes them feel comfortable?
Would a better option be to allow employees to “dress down” by wearing casual clothes one day per month?
14. Share and recognize employees’ achievements away from work.
In 2020, savvy companies understand that employees have an entire life away from the workplace. Take the time to celebrate their achievements during their downtime by sharing it in a weekly huddle with your team or in the company newsletter. Support side projects by encouraging your employees to discuss them during these sessions or submitting the details for the newsletter.
15. Suggest that your employees become company ambassadors.
Your employees are already using social media in their personal lives. Your company needs to share its story with the public. You can’t force any of your employees to share positive messages about your company online; however, you can suggest that they post things about work on their personal accounts, using internal solutions such as a Social Advocacy Platform.
Before your employees post anything, you’ll want to go over what kinds of messages are appropriate and which ones are not. A good rule to keep in mind is that if someone wouldn’t post something on a billboard on a busy highway for everyone to see, then it probably shouldn’t be posted on a social media site.
Employee Engagement Activities Outside of Work
Not all employee engagement activities take place inside the workplace. These ideas help encourage engagement outside of the office, factory, plant, etc. It’s important to acknowledge that your team members have total lives and to celebrate achievements, whether they occur on the job or in another area.
16. Encourage employees to pursue meaningful personal projects.
Give your employees a certain amount of time while they are at work when they can pursue their own projects. Arrange for people from different teams (and different departments) to meet and get to know each other so they can collaborate on personal projects as appropriate. This positive energy will only benefit your employees when they return to their regular work.
17. Use your petty cash to treat your employees.
Now and then, everyone in your organization needs a break. Dip into your petty cash and take everyone out for ice cream on a hot summer day or head out for hot chocolate when the mercury slips below freezing. This type of gesture gives your team members a chance to get to know each other in a casual setting and discuss topics unconnected with work.
18. Invite your team to a sporting event.
Get away from work and take your team to the ballpark, rink, or court. Local teams are entertaining to watch and ticket prices for games are usually reasonable. Contact the ticket office to ask about group rates and you may be entitled to a discount. Your company may even get a shout-out at the game!
Don’t forget to take a team photo as a souvenir you can display at work to remind everyone who participated in a wonderful time spent together. Spending time together outside of work is a simple example of team building activities.
19. Get involved with a charity (or two).
Conduct a survey to find out which charitable causes are most important to your employees. Choose the top one (or two) from the list and decide to support that cause for a year. Hold fun events during the year to raise money for the charity (bake sales, hot dog lunches, silly hat Friday, etc.) and give your employees time off from work to volunteer for the charity.
Employee Engagement Examples for Remote Workers
Remote workers, who may never set foot in the office at all, may have a difficult time feeling as though they are part of the team. These suggestions will help them to feel engaged in their work and improve their productivity as well.
20. Hold your remote employees accountable, but be flexible.
Your employees who work from home may work better on a different schedule than 9-5, Monday-Friday. As long as they are completing their work as agreed, give them the flexibility they need to work in the way that is best for them. No one likes to be micromanaged, and your remote worker may have family responsibilities or other reasons why a “standard” schedule is not feasible for them.
21. Encourage employees to have a work-life balance
When working from home, it can be challenging to know when to stop “work” and switch into “home” mode. Ask your home workers to create a schedule so that they are not always feeling as though they have to be working.
You want to avoid employee burnout by encouraging employees to speak up if they are having challenges balancing work and being at home. Their manager should be the first person to help them find out where the problem is and how to deal with it. If necessary, the employee can seek further assistance through an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) or other community resources.
22. Use video to communicate with remote workers.
If remote workers are only receiving instructions for projects by e-mail, it can be difficult for them to really get to know their managers, and vice versa. Make a point of scheduling a video call once a month or more often if needed to see and hear your remote worker. The idea is to put a face and voice to the person who is e-mailing and sending in their work. Taking this step will help both parties feel more engaged in their work and able to work more effectively together.
Taking the time and making the effort to put these employee engagement ideas and strategies into effect is worth it. Your business will reap the benefits of lower employee turnover and higher efficiency. These two benefits will hopefully lead to higher profits.
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Top 5 Benefits of Employee Engagement