Here's How to Improve Employee Engagement Starting Today

Improve employee engagement and create a company culture your team is proud to be a part of with these 8 data-backed strategies.

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‍A recent Gallup survey shows that just21% of global employees are engaged at work. That means nearly four-fifths of the world's workforce isn't giving their all on the job. In the worst cases, they're doing just enough to collect a paycheck. However, they're not adding any real value to their employers.

Look for signs of employee disengagement. These signs include increased customer complaints and employee absences. You'll want to take action quickly before it spreads through your company. Here's how to improve employee engagement and create a company culture your team is proud to be a part of.

Why is employee engagement important? πŸ€”

When employees feel engaged, they put their best efforts into their work. Everything seems to click. There's a sense of fellowship among team members, and your customers are happy.

Long-term benefits of high employee engagement πŸ‘

  • Reduced employee turnover ⬇️
  • Higher levels of employee retention 🀝
  • Increased productivity πŸƒβ€β™€οΈ
  • Easier to attract top-tier talent 🀩
  • Fewer absences πŸ§‘β€πŸ’»
  • Increased revenue πŸ’Έ
  • Improved customer loyalty πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘¦

Long-term disadvantages of low employee engagement πŸ‘Ž

  • Low employee morale πŸ˜’
  • Deterioration of company reputation πŸ˜•
  • Falling sales πŸ“‰
  • Less innovation in the workplace πŸ’€
  • Dissatisfied customers 😠

Invest in your employees, invest in your company 🀝

A successful employee engagement strategy can pay off in dividends. According to Harvard Business Review, encouraging engagement can reduce turnover by 65%.

A Gallup report found several positive impacts among companies with strong employee engagement.

This includes the following:

64% reduction in safety incidents πŸ‘·10% increase in customer loyalty πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘¦81% decline in employee absenteeism πŸ§‘β€πŸ’»23% increase in company profitability πŸ’Έ
  • 64% reduction in safety incidents πŸ‘·
  • 10% increase in customer loyalty πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘¦
  • 81% decline in employee absenteeism πŸ§‘β€πŸ’»
  • 23% increase in company profitability πŸ’Έ

Clearly, it pays to have engaged employees.

How to improve employee engagement: data-backed strategies πŸ€“

Improving employee engagement starts at the top. This means collaboration between senior leadership and HR teams. Here are a few techniques to add to your employee engagement toolbox.

1. Set employees up for success πŸ™Œ

New employees often feel anxiety and excitement. This is true no matter the industry or their experience. But you can ease their worries by providing a positive employee onboarding experience.

To start, ensure you have an easy-to-follow, comprehensive onboarding package. Typically, onboarding includes several complex components. These can include tax forms, benefits, and integration into your workplace systems.

You can streamline onboarding with help from your human capital management (HCM) system. If you don't have one, provide employees with a clear overview of your onboarding process. Consider a helpful PowerPoint presentation or a short video.

Once your new strategy is in place, ask for feedback from new employees. Their insights can help you finesse your processes and address any issues.

2. Utilize effective communication πŸ’¬

A new team member can feel like a fish out of water. That's normal β€” but it's also an opportunity for you to start them off on the right foot.

Make sure to introduce new hires to their team. If you don't already have one, consider a mentor program. Providing a mentor can go a long way to helping new hires develop connections with their colleagues. This is especially true if you start them with a mentor within their first month.

You'll also want to monitor existing employee engagement levels. Frequent employee engagement surveys help identify worrying trends in engagement. Many companies do an annual employee engagement survey. This regularity should provide the data you need for accurately measuring employee engagement.

The Top 5 Tips for Measuring Employee Engagement

HR teams should also encourage managers to hold regular one-on-ones with team members. One-on-ones offer a private environment where employees can share any concerns they have. They can also strengthen relationships between management and supporting staff. The truth is that employees crave feedback. Receiving it from leaders they trust can improve future performance and career development.

3. Offer recognition and rewards πŸ…

A common mistake is failing to recognize accomplishments and hard work. When an employee makes an extra effort, they want to feel appreciated. Maybe they worked all weekend to meet a deadline. Maybe they brought on a significant new customer. Either way, you should recognize (and reward) their efforts.

Employee recognition can be as simple as complimenting them on their achievements. Sometimes, they'll accomplish something especially beneficial to your organization, like a great new product idea. In these cases, reward them with something more tangible, like a bonus or promotion.

Some employers find an employee recognition system ensures that their team member's good deeds don't go unnoticed. For instance, you might require managers to highlight top-performing team members each quarter. You could announce the results during a company-wide meeting and publicly reward the winners.

Ideally, you'll have a structured employee recognition system. That way, your managers will understand when an employee warrants recognition and how to handle it.

4. Opportunities for growth and development πŸ’Ό

Few employees plan to remain in the same position forever. They want professional development opportunities that allow them to progress in their careers. If they don't find this in your company, they'll leave and search for greener pastures.

However, you can't always offer your employees a yearly promotion. But you can boost employee engagement through professional development opportunities. For example, you might provide training programs to develop leadership or public speaking skills. This will help if and when you do promote them to supervisory or management roles. They'll find it easier to assume their new responsibilities and thank you for your help.

Some employees could benefit from advanced education or certifications. These can serve multiple purposes. For one, the employee feels invested in and valued. Second, they'll be better equipped to serve in your workforce. So consider offering a professional development stipend employees can use toward learning opportunities.

5. Encourage work-life balance βš–οΈ

Good employers recognize that their staff has a life outside the workplace. They have families, friends, hobbies, and other things that require their attention. Maintaining a balance between their time at work and other priorities is critical.

Suppose that your team consistently works late nights or weekends to meet business objectives. You may have a systemic work-life balance problem. If you do, it's worth sitting down to discuss why. There might be a shortcoming in workflow processes. In other cases, your managers might overwork team members to fit tight deadlines. If so, you may need to hire additional employees to support your company's needs.

Ideally, you should consistently promote the importance of physical and mental health among your team members. That way, employees understand that you want them to care for themselves. If your team members aren't healthy, you'll see higher levels of absenteeism and burnout.

Some companies find that flexible working arrangements attract higher-quality team members. They also tend to improve the employee experience. For instance, you might allow team members to start their day earlier or later, depending on their needs. You could also consider hybrid arrangements, where employees work from home for several days each week or month.

Your benefits plan is an important part of supporting work-life balance. You'll want to ensure you offer competitive benefits like PTO and parental leave. You might also consider providing your employees access to wellness programs. This can include gym memberships or financial advisors.

6. Employee involvement and empowerment πŸ’ͺ

Your employees want to feel like they contribute. However, this goes beyond simply fulfilling their regular duties. Ask them for feedback about your company, the work environment, or other aspects of their job. Employees who believe you value their opinion β€” and act on it β€” will feel empowered. They're more likely to provide future insights that might benefit your business.

You'll also want to pay attention to what motivates your team members. It might be oversight of a project that excites them but isn't typically part of their responsibilities. So consider offering your team members regular opportunities to pursue their passions. This could be through cross-training or other projects of their choosing.

Finally, you can encourage employee involvement through volunteer activities. Volunteering is a great way to promote collaboration and benefit your local community. You might partner with some organizations that need volunteer assistance. In return, you could give everyone a free day off to participate every quarter. Your staff will appreciate the time away from the office and feel good about their contributions.

7. Create a positive work environment 🌳

Few employees will stay in a job when the work environment is toxic or unwelcoming. You'll want to create a positive environment where everyone feels they belong. This is easier said than done, but you can take steps to improve your culture and increase employee engagement.

Your first step should involve encouraging employee interaction and collaboration with team members. Consider team building activities, like virtual happy hours or lunches. Of course, these may require additional expenses. However, they're great opportunities to strengthen coworker relationships.

You'll also want to examine your diversity and inclusion initiatives. A supportive work environment means ensuring everyone has the assistance they need to be successful. Consider establishing employee resource groups for team members from diverse backgrounds. ERGs go hand-in-hand with mentorship programs. When used together, these initiatives are even more powerful.

Employee resource groups can give your staff a sense of belonging. This is true even if their immediate colleagues don't have the same personal experiences. For instance, you might allow your younger employees to pair with more experienced workers. You could also pair minority employees with guidance from a colleague with a similar background.

8. Provide leadership and management support πŸ§‘β€πŸ’Ό

Your management team should be the first to recognize when employee engagement is suffering. After all, they're the ones who interact with direct reports daily. You'll want to ensure they're influential leaders, not just people who excel in their technical skills. Managers possessing a combination of both will bring you the best results.

Ensure your managers have what it takes to oversee their teams. To this end, provide them with leadership training programs. Leadership training can help them develop the soft skills they need to interact with their team and motivate employees.

Motivated employees are more likely to stick around in your organization. They'll have higher levels of productivity and employee engagement, which benefits your company.

You'll also want to take steps to improve engagement among your management staff. If your managers don't feel engaged at work, it will have a trickle-down effect on their team members. Ensure they feel challenged and appreciated in their jobs. But also give them the tools to manage their teams effectively.

Discourage your leadership team from allowing a negative work culture to fester. You can do this by holding them accountable for their team's engagement levels. If they're held responsible for a toxic work environment, they'll take the necessary actions to prevent it.

Engage employees with Confetti πŸŽ‰

You can easily boost employee engagement with help from Confetti. We offer a wide array of engagement ideas and team building activities for both virtual and on-site teams. Check out our website to learn more!

Engage employees with Confetti's team building activities


For more tips and ideas on employee engagement, check out our Ultimate Employee Engagement Guide.Β 

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are some common signs of low employee engagement?

A few signs of low employee engagement include frequent absenteeism, increased employee turnover, and missed deadlines. It's easy to spot the symptoms of low employee engagement. Take quick action so it doesn't spread to your other team members.

What role does leadership play in fostering employee engagement?Β 

Management sets the tone for the organization. They're responsible for providing a supportive work environment for their team members. Senior leadership can foster employee engagement by offering team building activities, recognition programs, and strong communication with their staff.

What are some effective strategies for recognizing and rewarding employees?

One of the best ways to recognize and reward your employees for a job well done is through a structured employee recognition program. These programs encourage managers to reward top-performing team members. Leaders should also thank their employees personally when they go above and beyond what is asked.

How can I involve employees in decision-making and problem-solving processes?

Include staff in decision-making and problem-solving to increase employee engagement. Regularly seek their feedback on important company matters through group or one-on-one discussions. You might also provide them with a specific problem you want to resolve and give them ownership to fix it.

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