The business landscape is competitive — and optimizing your company’s productivity is key to long-term success.
But according to a Gallup study, only 21% of employees are engaged in the workplace.
The best way around this is to implement employee engagement strategies to inspire your teams to become more involved in their roles.
What are employee engagement strategies?
Employee engagement strategies are proactive plans and actions that foster a positive company culture that leads to invested and emotionally connected employees.
It’s how an organization keeps its employees motivated, committed, and happy. By using these methods, companies may improve employee satisfaction and boost profits and productivity.
Why use employee engagement strategies?
Investing in employee engagement isn’t an option — it’s a must if you want your business to thrive. In a study by Quantum Workplace, disengaged workers are 2.6x more likely to leave an employer for another with a better culture.
Aside from employee turnover, businesses are losing money on disengaged workers who “quiet quit.”
Gallup estimates that low engagement accounts for 11% of GDP (gross domestic product) and costs the global economy $7.8T.
By using employee engagement strategies, you can avoid some of these pitfalls and see benefits like:
- Increased productivity: Motivated employees will go the extra mile.
- Improved retention: Investing in employee growth and well-being can improve retention rates and increase commitment.
- Increased innovation: Engaged employees bring fresh ideas and solutions to the business, especially when they feel feedback and suggestions are appreciated.
- Improved company culture: Engagement strategies can create a positive culture where employees feel connected to each other and the company’s mission.
- Reduced absenteeism: Engaged employees are less likely to miss work or take sick days.
- Improved reputation: Companies that prioritize employee engagement are often seen as desirable places to work, which can enhance their reputation among potential employees and customers.
- Increased profitability: Higher productivity and lower turnover costs can enhance your bottom line.
Best employee engagement strategies
1. Start with the right crew
Hiring the right people for their roles is an essential step in employee engagement. Individuals who fit within your company’s culture and have a strong work ethic are more likely to be engaged and dedicated to their jobs. During the hiring process, look for individuals who embody your company’s values and mission.
2. Invest in the proper technology
Providing employees with the right tools and software can help them work more efficiently and effectively. For example, if your company is struggling with low sales, investing in effective sales funnel software can help your sales team follow up with prospects, create targeted sales campaigns, and track sales performance.
3. Promote a positive and inclusive culture
Create a welcoming environment where all employees feel respected and valued, which will foster a sense of community and teamwork. Encourage employees to share their ideas and perspectives, and provide adequate support when a worker needs help.
4. Provide professional development opportunities
Offering development opportunities shows you care about your employees’ growth. For example, you can provide free online courses, mentoring programs, or host educational seminars on leadership skills and other topics.
5. Offer flexibility
Flexibility is becoming a top priority for modern-day employees. Offering flexibility in work schedules, locations (e.g., remote or hybrid options), and vacation time can help enable a healthy work-life balance. This can ultimately increase productivity, job satisfaction, and retention rates.
6. Encourage effective communication
Encourage open and honest communication among your employees to develop a culture of trust and respect. Lead by example and ask managers to be transparent about decision-making and team performance whenever possible.
Also, consider implementing avenues for anonymous feedback to give your employees a voice without fear of retaliation.
7. Offer competitive benefits and compensation packages
Providing competitive compensation packages and benefits can attract and retain top talent. Conduct market research to ensure your company provides a fair and competitive salary, along with benefits such as health care, 401(k), and PTO.
You can even go the extra mile by offering unique benefits such as catered lunches, unlimited vacation time, and parental leave.
8. Recognize and reward extra effort
Recognition and rewards are good motivators. Acknowledge employees who exceed expectations and thank them for their exceptional effort. This can be as simple as a verbal thank you, but could also include a bonus, promotion, or other form of recognition.
9. Organize team-building activities
Fostering a sense of teamwork and collaboration is important for employee engagement. Organize team-building activities, such as company outings or charitable events, to help employees connect personally outside of work.
10. Conduct regular check-ins
Regular check-ins with employees demonstrate that you value their opinions and feedback. Use performance metrics to review employee progress on projects and provide targeted feedback. This can help employees understand expectations, set goals, and develop a sense of accountability.
For example, at Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, the company shares its strategic plan with employees and updates it annually, per its HR officer, Melinda Reeves. The leaders and employees collaborate to connect individual goals with the overall strategy so workers understand their impact on the organization. The CEO also has one-on-one 30-minute meetings with new employees to get to know them.
Implementing employee engagement strategies that work
So what employee engagement strategies work for today’s companies?
Ryan Adams, president of GeoLinks, a telecommunications company, recommends using the following engagement strategies:
- Team lunches: Select one person from each department to have lunch together. By bringing together individuals from different departments, they can build stronger relationships and promote cross-functional collaboration.
- Gift-card rewards: Provide managers with a budget to reward employees for good work. This can increase motivation, productivity, and a greater sense of job satisfaction and recognition.
- Quarterly all-hands-on-deck meetings: Hold regular all-hands-on-deck meetings to keep employees informed and engaged in the company's mission and goals. This fosters a sense of community and shared purpose among employees, and encourages open communication and feedback.
- Best idea wins mantra: The best idea wins mantra encourages employees to share their ideas and discuss them openly at meetings. This ensures all employees feel valued, respected, and included in the decision-making process.
And when you’re beginning to craft your strategy, have a meeting with your team to get employee engagement ideas from them.