Engaged employees are the key to a happy and healthy workplace environment that produces results and raises profits. Employees that are engaged infuse their work with energy, purpose, and enthusiasm.
Building an employee engagement strategy is the best way to encourage employee involvement and to boost productivity. In order to develop a strategy to increase engagement in your organization, you must first learn about employee engagement best practices and understand what interests your employees.
How Employee Engagement Impacts Workplace Productivity
Employees are the backbone of your company. Their engagement impacts several aspects of your business, but workplace productivity is impacted the most by it.
Employees who are highly engaged in their work are motivated to complete their tasks and even a little bit extra.
They are more focused and work more efficiently than their disengaged co-workers. In fact, engaged employees are 27 percent more likely to have excellent performance marks. And organizations are 20 to 25 percent more productive when they have engaged or connected employees.
Employee engagement also plays a significant role in absenteeism, which is directly correlated to productivity. Employees can’t be productive at work if they are absent frequently.
Highly engaged employees know how important it is to be present at work to contribute to the success of their team and the overall success of the company.
The Importance of an Employee Engagement Strategy
Here are some benefits of employee engagement for your organization.
It Provides Your Business With Employee Engagement Goals.
When you attach a goal to each initiative of your employee engagement strategy, you can measure engagement progress later on. For instance, if your strategy involves flexible scheduling, then your goal may be to allow employees to complete their work at times when they feel most productive. With this goal in mind, you may notice that after implementing the strategy, your employees start completing more work and are able to meet deadlines more efficiently.
Without an employee engagement strategy, your staff may become disengaged without you noticing or understanding the barriers that prevent their enthusiasm.
It Helps You See Where Each Employee Stands.
Once you implement your employee engagement strategy in the workplace, you’ll begin to notice who your most and least engaged employees are by looking at their productivity.
This allows you to determine what action to take with those who are showing issues with performance and to understand the root cause of their disengagement. This may result in some form of disciplinary action.
Since disengagement tends to spread throughout the workplace quickly, disengaged employees can negatively affect other team members in the workplace. To prevent disengagement from spreading, you must deal with problems as they arise with the disengaged employees that remain.
It also makes it easier for leadership to identify top performers who may be good candidates for future career advancement.
It Gives You a Clear Path Toward Improving Engagement.
Many companies struggle with engagement, but they don’t know how to fix it. Developing a mix of employee engagement ideas provides companies with easy-to-execute options that lead them in the right direction as they encourage their employees to connect to their work.
It Encourages Employees to Form a Positive Connection With Your Company.
A strong employee engagement strategy focuses on providing solutions to existing workplace problems. Essentially, they make the workplace a more enjoyable environment to be in.
This often encourages your employees to view their workplace positively so they want to come into work and contribute meaningfully to the success of your organization. This also boosts retention and even attracts new talent.
Satisfied and productive employees will often leave good reviews for your company and recommend open positions to their friends who work within the industry.
How to Get Employees Engaged: 11 Ideas to Try Today
There are hundreds of employee engagement ideas and strategies out there for you to try. Here are 11 simple ideas you can get started with right away.
Give Employees Autonomy.
Management, especially in small companies, is busy making a hundred or more decisions per day. Free up some of their time by giving your employees the freedom to make decisions themselves whenever possible.
This lets your employees know that you trust them enough to do their jobs without micromanaging every little task they complete or decision they make.
Emphasize Work-Life Balance.
Most often, it is difficult for your employees to feel like they are giving enough attention to both their work duties and life responsibilities. Work-life balance is something that employers should encourage in the workplace to keep their employees healthy and engaged.
However, work-life balance means something different to each employee. Connect with your staff to see what your organization can do better to improve it.
Develop an Incomparable Health and Wellness Program.
If you understand employee engagement, then you are likely a firm believer in instituting employee health and wellness programs for your company. Wellness programs are known to reduce stress, increase job satisfaction, and boost engagement.
Develop a wellness program that fits the needs of your employees. For instance, if you have a large group of employees who enjoy staying physically active, then you can implement a fitness challenge. If your employees are interested in various different wellness initiatives and topics, then we recommend going with an all-in-one employee wellness initiative platform like Gympass.
Implement Perks That Boost Physical and Mental Wellbeing.
Perks make your office a more fun place to work. Some perks that are sure to boost physical and mental wellbeing for your employees include:
- Unlimited vacation days
- Break room games
- Refrigerators and cupboards stocked with healthy snacks
- On-site yoga or meditation
- An annual wellness day
- Frequent involvement in company fun runs for charity
Hand Out Branded Swag.
Celebrate work anniversaries, performance achievements, and company events by offering employees branded swag, such as t-shirts, hoodies, yoga mats, mugs, water bottles, and other items your team will actually use.
Make Sure Your New Hires Are Welcomed By the Whole Team.
Employees who feel cared for and connected to their co-workers are more likely to feel engaged and productive at work. Employees typically get to know their direct reports pretty well, but it’s also important for team members to build relationships with the rest of the staff.
For instance, you could start a game night that the whole staff is invited to any time a new team member starts.
Send Out Motivation Monday Emails.
Find an inspirational quote from a book, movie, or a speech that you like and send it to your staff on Monday mornings to help motivate them to have a productive week. Mondays usually start slow, so providing people with a little extra inspiration to get started is likely to help them start the new week off strong.
Act on Feedback.
Survey your employees periodically to see how they are feeling. Always act on or address their feedback in meaningful ways. Send them updates on the progress you’ve made toward addressing their concerns and conduct meetings to brainstorm ideas on how to address concerns that don’t have simple answers.
Failing to act on employee feedback may diminish employee engagement.
Hire Employees According to Your Company Culture.
Skill is an important factor for you to consider when hiring a new employee, but you should also hire individuals who exhibit your values and will fit in with your company culture. A person hired based on culture fit is more likely to remain engaged, work well with their team, and adapt to business changes, making them a valuable company resource.
Create a Professional Development Roadmap.
Employees are more likely to stay engaged if they feel like they are in a position to continually learn and grow. Knowledge is invaluable to employees, even if you can’t guarantee upward mobility in your organization anytime soon.
Provide a roadmap for your employees’ professional development based on their department or role and specific career goals. Put simply, establish exactly what they need to know and do in a clear way for them so they can achieve their goals.
Discuss Their Schedules.
Distraction and disengagement often has to do with the lack of flexibility in your employees’ schedules. Your employees may be distant and unproductive when they are busy thinking about all of the outside events they can’t attend or have to reschedule because of work.
Discuss their schedules with them and see if you can adjust their schedules to accommodate their lives.
3 Employee Engagement Strategy Examples
Here are three real-world examples of employee engagement strategies being put to use to help inspire strategies for your company.
Professional Development Opportunities: CB Insights
CB Insights is an NYC-based market intelligence platform that offers comprehensive professional development opportunities to its employees. They offer a $1,000 education stipend to all employees after six months of employment, as well as organize peer-to-peer learning opportunities where colleagues can teach new skills monthly.
They also host a female-focused professional development lunch and teach managers core management skills in short learning sessions each and every month.
Wellness Initiatives: Motley Fool
The Motley Fool has some awesome and fun wellness initiatives for their employees to take advantage of. They offer free spinning classes, subsidized in-house massages, and bootcamps for employees to enjoy with their colleagues from different departments.
They also have a wellness newsletter that highlights a “Wellness Fool” who is nominated by his or her peers.
Motley Fool focuses on switching things up for their employees by making every month different from the others to keep up engagement. For instance, they had an Active April that challenged employees to do one thing active during meetings every day. With these awesome wellness initiatives, Motley Fool has 86 percent wellness engagement!
Employee Perks: Deloitte
It’s hard for employees to travel and explore, while also feeling rested and relaxed with only two weeks of annual vacation. Employees based at the New York, NY office at Deloitte have sabbatical leave and three to six months of partially paid leave to volunteer or to pursue an opportunity that will enhance their careers.
Deloitte also partners with Gympass to offer their employees a holistic wellness solution that gives them access to various gyms, studios, classes, and wellness apps, and on-demand fitness.
Maintaining employee engagement means making employees feel valued as a part of your workplace community. The more opportunity you give your employees to engage in meaningful activities and interactions that boost their physical and mental wellbeing, the more dedicated they’ll be to your ongoing success and growth.