Another tough year is nearly over, and as you look forward to 2022, we’d like to know: does your company have engaged employees? And how would you know, really?

Decades of research tell us that employee engagement is a measure of your organizational health. Engaged workers are 55% more productive than workers who are merely “satisfied.” But how can you tell if your people are engaged? Surveys are often the go-to way to measure employee engagement. However, surveys only pinpoint a moment’s sentiment.

5 Key Behaviors of Engaged Employees and How to Encourage Them

Did you know you can also get a strong sense of employee engagement from employee behaviors? Here are five key behaviors that can give you a more holistic view of employee engagement than surveys can deliver. These behaviors can also be observed over time and, even better, can be contagious — in a good way.

1. They have strong relationships across the organization

Employees with strong relationships at work tend to enjoy their work more, collaborate better, and worry less about others. You can identify these relationships based on how employees interact with others, how well they listen, and how well they ask questions.

To encourage strong relationships in the workplace, you should:

  • Create opportunities to interact
  • Appreciate contributions
  • Offer and accept quality feedback

2. They go the extra mile for clients and customers

If you have an employee who puts themselves in your customers’ shoes and extends them courtesy and respect, they are an engaged employee. Do you have an employee who always asks, “How does this affect the client?” That’s an engaged employee.

So how do you encourage this behavior across your workforce?

  • Show how employee work — quality and outcomes — drives customer satisfaction
  • Share positive customer feedback
  • Create an employee-of-the-month recognition program

3. They volunteer ideas

Highly engaged employees help to improve processes and procedures, and even offer fresh product insights. They take the extra step and drive the value of their ideas forward by acting on them.

Three ways to encourage employee ideas:

  • Act on ideas to complete the feedback loop
  • Ask employees questions and listen to their feedback
  • Recognize successful ideas and actions

4. They recommend their organization as a good place to work

An engaged employee will voluntarily tell others that they work for a great company and encourage others to join them. They will actively recommend good people for open positions.

Some ways to encourage this behavior:

5. Engaged employees stay with the organization

Engaged employees don’t jump ship easily. They grow within the company, seek out mentors, and see a clear path to growth.

Encourage retention by:

  • Helping employees develop 1-, 3-, and 5-year career goals
  • Creating mentor/mentee programs
  • Offer supporting learning and development opportunities

While surveys can show you a snapshot in time, daily behaviors can give you a clear view of who is engaged and who might need a little help. Watching for the five behaviors explained here can help you measure your employee engagement in a very real way. By encouraging these behaviors, you are well on your way to quality employee engagement.