While employee engagement can have a positive impact on productivity, profit and performance, most employee engagement strategies are falling short of their goals. Discover why employee engagement plans fail and how to fix them.
21 Employee Engagement Ideas That WORK
It can be a challenge to come up with suitable employee engagement ideas for your business. The evolving dynamic of the workforce means it demands proper planning and innovation.
A FastTrack 360 study found that 71% of executives see employee engagement as critical to their businesses success. Does your business realise the value in an engaged and committed workforce?
It can be difficult to find a solution when engagement hasn’t previously been high on the agenda. An increasingly remote or deskless workforce also poses further challenges of its own. This can also make improving employee engagement hard.
Fear not as help is at hand. In this blog we will give you employee engagement ideas fit for your business. This guide will include:
- What is Employee Engagement?
- Why is it Important?
- 21 Employee Engagement Ideas That Work
What is Employee Engagement ?
Employee engagement has many facets, so it is hard to surmise in a short definition. Fundamentally, it is how someone feels about their employer, their own role and the company’s values.
The concept has been designed with the aim of being able to measure the relationship between companies and their employees.
Want to learn more about employee engagement concepts? Read our Employee Engagement: Ultimate Guide
Recommended Reading 📖: Employee Engagement: The Ultimate Guide 2021
Why is it Important?
When employees are engaged they are generally more productive. Studies show that businesses with engaged workforces are 21% more profitable.
What’s more, an engaged employee is far more likely to stay in their role than someone who isn't. A Glassdoor study revealed that the cost of turnover of staff in the UK is on average £11,000 per employee .
Given the link to staff turnover, the cost of poor engagement will far exceed investment into it. Turnover and the productivity driven by engagement clearly impact the bottom line of the business.
Recommended Reading 📖: 25 Employee Engagement Statistics You Won’t Believe
21 Employee Engagement Ideas That Work
Devise a Proper Engagement Strategy
It’s important not to skip straight to implementing tactics before you have set out a proper plan.
No two businesses are exactly alike, so first assess what you need to achieve and how you are going to achieve it. It may seem obvious, but treating a strategy as the foundation for employee engagement is something that is often missed.
When devising your strategy, make sure you answer these questions :
- What does our current employee engagement strategy look like?
- What do we currently do well?
- What could we improve on?
- What do we need to aim for?
- How are we going to achieve it?
Lead by Example
Leadership needs to set a precedent for the rest of the business. Encourage the clear dialogue that goes hand-in-hand with employee engagement.
If you have defined your strategy, those at the top of the business must be seen to be embodying the culture you want to create. Leaders must be open, honest and encourage two-way communication with employees.
This can be done by:
- Posting regular blog content to your intranet news feed
- Employee directories with contact information
- Q&A’s for employees with leadership
- Regular company updates
Encourage an ‘Open Door’ Policy
If you want employees to be honest and forthcoming you must invite two-way communication. Create an environment that encourages employees to be open with line managers and leaders.
These are ways in which you can implement an ‘open door’ policy as a leader or manager:
- Be visible around the office
- Be visible on social timeline by posting regularly
- Host virtual or in-person Q&A’s
- Dedicate time for meetings with representatives
Plan to Support Dynamic Workforce
The modern workforce looks very different, even to that of recent years. Your employees are likely to be a mix of on-site, remote and deskless, or at least two of the three.
It is vital to incorporate the dynamic of your teams into an engagement strategy, particularly when deciding which communication tools to implement. Plan engagement ideas that will connect and empower all facets of your workforce.
Map Out The Culture You Want
Any engagement ideas must help towards achieving your desired business culture. Before you decide on any tools or strategy you must have determined what you want your culture to be.
This can then guide your overall engagement strategy but also recruitment. Cultural acknowledgement will make collaboration and engagement far easier to accomplish.
Actively Involve New Recruits
You should be working towards engagement from day one of an employee's tenure. By welcoming them and encouraging coworkers to do the same, you can do this from the outset.
Post to the company intranet notifying other employees or organising welcomes with the rest of the business in the calendar. This can be done in-person or virtually, to suit your workforce.
Actively Encourage Employee Feedback
Part of employee engagement is them feeling like they have a voice and that their input matters. Employee feedback is a mutually beneficial process.
Surveys help give insight into employee engagement with targeted questions around specific topics. A virtual suggestion box is also a simple way to provide an avenue for continuous feedback.
Measure Employee Engagement
Measuring the output of your employee engagement strategy can be a key indicator of your success .
Collect actionable data from feedback, which will help your engagement strategy to be flexible and effective. Visualised data from surveys and polls will significantly aid the analytics process.
Take Suggestions on Board
Your engagement strategy shouldn’t be fixed, adaptability is key. For it to be truly effective you must be open to change based on the feedback you receive from your employees.
The best team engagement ideas may come from your own workers so take their ideas on board. After all, they know best how they want to communicate.
Tailor Your Communication Approaches
The typical modern workforce is diverse and as such you must devise a strategy that will engage with everyone. 35% of baby boomers prefer email as a means of communication in the workplace, compared to 31 % of Gen Z workers who favour text or calls.
These differences outline how employee engagement is not straightforward. You must be adaptable in your approach to communication, depending on the makeup of your workforce.
Recognise Employee Achievements & Milestones
Organisations who recognise employee achievements enjoy on average 14% better engagement. Productivity, happiness and motivation are all products of appreciating your workers.
The company intranet can be a hub for highlighting your workforce’s achievements. Post to the company timeline, talk about them in a blog, or send a message directly. The social aspect of your intranet makes employee recognition a simple task.
Celebrate Company Success
Celebrating achievements as a collective makes your employees feel more a part of things. When your business secures a lucrative contract, breaks sales records or any other type of success, be sure to make it known on your intranet news feed.
This will encourage integration into the business and also with it help to align employees with brand and culture.
Acknowledge Company Issues
An Employee Engagement Survey found that honesty was the number one contributor to workplace happiness.
Part of a culture of transparency and honesty is being upfront on issues as much as victories. Honest communication develops loyalty and added motivation to help in a negative situation.
If you want transparency from your workforce, remember it is a two-way street.
Make Space For Social Interaction
66% of UK workers say that having a friend at work increases job satisfaction. Encouraging social relationships in the workplace boosts engagement significantly. By facilitating social interactions in the virtual and physical workplace you will play your part.
How to create spaces for social interaction in the modern workplace:
- Community hubs on your company intranet
- Encourage blog contributions to news feed
- An informal instant messaging group for each department
- Competitions/Quizzes on social feed or video chat
Make Collaboration Easy
Making collaboration simpler can help foster engagement in your employees. Providing areas where your team can talk in certain groups helps to create a better work environment both in their roles and socially.
Group messaging and virtual departments help your teams work together, wherever they are. Oak integrates with tools such as Teams and Workday, whilst offering several additional collaboration tools.
Organise Team Events
If your workforce has had an added element of remote working in recent times, it's still as important for your team to get to know each other.
Keep the camaraderie in your team alive by organising regular in-person or virtual social events. Social relationships can foster collaboration and even something as simple as a monthly quiz or virtual drinks can help.
Create a Strong Brand
Developing a strong internal brand is a key employee engagement tool. Having a good brand identity gives employees a sense of direction and belonging. Branding your company intranet creates a more immersive employee experience.
Furthermore, internal branding gives an organisation the opportunity to differentiate themselves. It offers clarity on the culture of the business, which not only helps to keep current staff engaged but also to attract new talent.
Define Vision & Values
According to Forbes 52% of UK employees aren’t aware of their company’s vision. When a business does not communicate this properly, it does itself no favours.
Not knowing what their company stands for can contribute to a feeling of disassociation. However, displaying a defined statement on your intranet homepage pushes this message to the forefront.
This can only contribute to establishing familiarity with the message you want to convey through the company vision statement.
Give Employees Access to Information They Need
A McKinsey report found that workers spend on average 20% of their time searching for internal information. Rid them of the boredom by providing uniform locations for information and documents.
Centralised knowledge bases mean less wasted time that employees can spend on their duties or development. They will feel far more engaged in their role when a fifth of their time isn’t spent on monotonous tasks.
Encourage Learning & Development
Investing in or encouraging the upskilling of your employees will lead to further engagement and ensure workers do not feel like they are stagnating in their role.
A reported 70% of employees would be likely to leave their current role to work for an organisation with a reputation for investing in learning.
This highlights the importance of upskilling to employees, so it is paramount to set aside resources or delegate time for their self-development.
Supporting charitable causes is a great way of developing a better culture and loyalty internally.
This type of initiative has become more common in recent years. Businesses are realising their contribution towards Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and its internal benefits.
A Harvard study found that employees of companies who embrace CSR are generally happier at work. Giving time off for volunteering, supporting employees’ causes or an affiliated charity can demonstrate commitment to this.
There is no absolute formula to achieving employee engagement, but many of these tried and tested methods are sure to help your business on its way.
These ideas will give you insight into building and executing a strategy, by applying them to your own business. Make sure your organisation is reaping the countless benefits of employee engagement that other businesses are.