Employee Engagement StrategiesMay 24, 2019
When you think of the term “employee engagement,” what comes to mind? Perhaps a workplace of highly productive, problem-solving individuals or teams that collaborate seamlessly and harmoniously. If so, then you would be right. To get a little more formal, employee engagement is the extent to which an employee’s personal goals and interests align with the vision and goals of the company at which they are employed.
Now that you know exactly what employee engagement is, you may be wondering how an organization reaches this utopia of strong work ethic and emotional commitment from its individuals. There are several employee engagement strategies that we found effective from research, experience in our own office, and from getting to know our clients’ mission and values.
Some of the common employee engagement strategies that we have found within highly engaged organizations include:
- Open communication between individuals and their supervisors
- Open communication between coworkers
- Strong relationships between all individuals
- A strong mentorship program backed up by mentoring software
- Competitive benefits and care for individuals’ health and wellbeing
According to Gallup, organizations with strong employee engagement strategies have seen a 41% decrease in absenteeism and a 17% increase in productivity. As you can imagine, this directly affects clients’ attitudes about your organization. To add to these impressive stats, many highly engaged businesses have achieved a 10% increase in customer ratings and 20% increase in sales. These numbers show exactly why taking the time to develop employee engagement strategies is so important.
Yes, I said time. Becoming a highly engaged organization takes time and commitment, but as you can see, the ROI is well worth it. In fact, the employee engagement strategies that we will uncover not only increase your ROI but are cost-effective.
After implementing the following strategies, you’re highly likely to see happier, healthier, more engaged individuals.
1. Promote Relationships and Strong Communication
In a recent study done by Officevibe, they found that 31% of employees wish their manager communicated more effectively with them, and 20% believe their manager isn’t transparent. Officevibe, using the “airport test,” asked the question “How would you feel if you were stuck in an airport with your manager?” 7% said they would be uncomfortable, 36% are neutral, and 57% say they would try to get to know their manager better.
Strong communication between an individual and their manager is crucial, but communication between coworkers is just as powerful in organizations with high employee engagement. In the same study, Officevibe found that 82% of individuals value their coworker’s feedback and involvement, but it seems employees in many organizations don’t have a relationship with coworkers. Devastatingly enough, 60% eat lunch alone at their desk while they work.
So, why are these strong relationships and communication between coworkers and supervisors such an important employee engagement strategy? Collaboration! That is one factor that drives employee engagement, but an organization won’t see much collaboration if there are weak relationships in the office. Strong relationships cultivate prosocial behavior like effective teamwork.
Individuals with strong relationships and open communication feel a stronger sense of loyalty to their organization and coworkers. An organization focused on helping to foster these strategies will see an improvement in overall engagement. According to SHRM, 77% of employees are more likely to be engaged if they have a relationship with coworkers, and 74% are more engaged if they have a relationship with their direct supervisor. This is an employee engagement strategy that every organization should have at the top of their priority list.
2. Give Feedback and Recognition
Providing feedback and recognition is an employee engagement strategy that fosters strong communication. Recognizing an employee shows other individuals what success in the organization looks like. It’s a great employee engagement strategy, as it motivates individuals and reminds everyone what your culture is all about. But not just any recognition will do. Gallup found that 25% of the most memorable recognition comes from a high-level leader or CEO, and we can all agree that acknowledgment from a CEO is a career highlight.
In addition to recognition, Officevibe found that 83% of employees appreciate feedback- positive or negative, though this is a strategy that many organizations are still trying to perfect.
If done effectively, feedback and recognition is an employee engagement strategy that can increase productivity and loyalty as well as engagement.
3. Provide Mentoring
Mentoring is as employee engagement strategy that comes with many benefits. It works well because it offers individuals opportunities for advancement in their careers, and the ability to fit into the culture.
From the individuals first day at the office, a mentor is there to share their network of colleagues and show them the ropes. These introductions allow the individual to feel like they are part of the culture right off the bat. This increases the likelihood of engagement from day 1.
However, it’s important to not just focus on the beginning. Mentoring relationships are long-term. Throughout the relationship, the mentee can learn new skills as well as absorb into the culture. When individuals have this guidance and sense of security, they will stay engaged knowing that their organization values them. This employee engagement strategy is also a great approach for employee retention. According to Deliotte, millennials who plan to stay with an organization for more than 5 years are twice as likely to have a mentor than not.
4. Keep Health and Wellness in Mind
Did you know that 13.8% of employees are more engaged when provided stress-relief breaks? Also, 14.8% are more engaged when provided a standard-of-living raise, and 9.8% are more engaged when there are health cafeteria or vending food options. With numbers like these, it’s no wonder that 56% of individuals feel that their organization plays a role in their mental and physical wellbeing. This is exactly why having an employee engagement strategy that includes health and wellness is so important.
Investing in an individual’s wellbeing is investing in their happiness and individuals feel engaged when an organization cares. An effective employee engagement strategy is providing individuals with healthy workplace habits and activities. In turn, you’ll find much better luck with recruitment efforts, retention, and company culture.