8 ways to boost employee engagement in the workplace

Strategies for employers to engage their workers effectively

8 ways to boost employee engagement in the workplace

Passionate employees are critical to an organization’s success – so smart employers are always on the lookout for ways to boost employee engagement in the workplace.

But what does employee engagement look like and what can employers do to engage their workers effectively?

Read more: Employee engagement drivers are shifting thanks to hybrid work

Employee engagement

Employee engagement is a measurement of how motivated, passionate, and invested employees are to their work, their employer, and their colleagues. Employees are engaged when leaders can align their strengths with the company’s goals.

While similar, engagement does not always equal job satisfaction, which is how happy an employee is with their role regardless of whether they feel committed and connected to the company. However, an engaged employee is motivated to achieve both their personal and company goals.

The importance of employee engagement in the workplace

Smart human resource leaders already instinctively understand just how meaningful employee engagement is in the workplace – because people who voluntarily engage and work towards shared goals can help in many aspects of the organization.

For example, a Gallup report found that companies with high employee engagement saw significant improvements in sales performance and, consequently, higher profits. 

The report also found that employees who are more invested in the organization have a higher productivity rate than their counterparts. And it goes without saying that having productive, engaged employees can lead to greater loyalty, better retention rates, and enhanced customer experiences.

Read more: Employee engagement: Why now is the time to rewrite the employee playbook

Effective ways to cultivate employee engagement

There are many methods in promoting employee engagement in the workplace. Below, we outline some easy ways to boost employee engagement that your organization can action right now:

1. Measure engagement with surveys

To improve employee engagement in the workforce, employers should know where exactly their employees currently stand. Employee engagement surveys allow workers to give feedback that can help companies identify what’s working and what’s not within the organization. Collecting data through employee engagement surveys is vital for companies to know what needs of the staff should be addressed and benchmark for future efforts. It also ensures the collected data is relevant and actionable. 

Additionally, sharing the results collected with the team can also help foster a sense of trust and transparency within an organization. It also opens a way for everyone to discuss new ideas and opinions on important matters.

2. Train managers and supervisors on ways to engage employees

Managers have a significant influence on the engagement of employees. For example, if managers themselves are not engaged, employees would most likely see it as a reason not to be involved. 

Give your leadership the tools they need to connect with the company and help engage employees. For example, companies can offer leadership development seminars and training programs to their senior and middle managers. 

Managers should also learn to see themselves as coaches and mentors, providing employees with support, constructive criticism, and encouragement. Encouraging managers to attend onboarding sessions for new employees is one essential way to set the right tone from the start.

3. Onboard effectively

The onboarding process is vital in creating a connection between new employees with their work and the goals of the company. 

Consider introducing mentors that aren’t direct managers to guide the new employees in their first months. Additionally, introducing executive leadership during the onboarding events, and prioritizing relationship building between the new and old employees help create a smooth transition from onboarding to the regular work routine.

4. Focus on feedback

Asking for feedback from employees is a vital part of understanding the company’s performance, but sometimes not everyone is willing to participate. Offering anonymous feedback methods for employees helps them feel secure in giving honest responses. 

Once data is recorded, leadership should resolve matters and issues highlighted in the data. Employees also appreciate being informed of the findings that employers gather; regular meetings with teams are a great way to discuss the results and improve employee engagement.

Relaying feedback on an employee based on their performance can also boost their engagement with the company.

5. Pay attention to your workers’ physical and mental health

According to a Gallup report, companies benefit when employee wellness is added to engagement programs. This means that organizations should promote healthy habits in the workplace, such as taking breaks during work, encouraging work-life balance, and even offering fitness subsidies and meditation classes. These could help employees feel more appreciated and prevent overworking.

6. Recognize and reward employees

Effective employee recognition can help boost the morale of employees. When employees know that the company appreciates them and their efforts, they are more likely to trust and gain more motivation in performing beyond what is expected of them. 

Asking managers to provide positive recognition as part of their day-to-day tasks can help motivate and engage employees. Make use of the communications channel system within the organization to acknowledge teams and individuals who have performed well. Additionally, an incentive program could help boost motivation within the workplace. 

Remember that rewards do not work for everyone. Make sure to understand how employees respond to recognition and rewards and adjust methods to fit their preferences.

7. Provide flexibility to employees

Another way to promote employee engagement is by offering flexible work schedules and other remote work opportunities. This helps employees create a good work-life balance by allowing them to  work comfortably in their chosen location and time. Providing employees with the option to adjust working hours for personal errands and other appointments helps them feel cared for by their employers.

8. Help carve out the employee’s career paths

Employers should help employees achieve their professional goals. Showing support and offering ways for employees to advance in their career path can keep them engaged and less likely to look for other opportunities outside the organization. For example, offering internal workshops, team lunch-and-learns, and external education stipends could create career growth paths.

Ultimately, a good employee engagement strategy is one that is empathic to the needs of workers. When companies take that extra step to ensure that their employees are well taken care of, they will be rewarded with motivated people dedicated to their success.

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