Strategies to Improve Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is defined as the emotional commitment the employee has to the organization and its goals. This means that when your employee's feel like they are a valued part of your organization and truly engaged, they are more productive and tend to stick around a bit longer.

The benefits gained through employee engagement is the reason that more organizations are talking about how to improve it. With 66.3% of the US workforce reporting that they are disengaged, odds are that production is low and turnover is high for any organization not focusing on employee engagement.

To increase employee engagement, it is important to think strategically. Here are 3 strategies to improve employee engagement.

1. Establish an Engaging Company Culture

Having a great company culture is about more than free snacks in the break room and a dart board down the hall. Those are perks that are exciting to new recruits, but those tricks won’t work when considering how to engage your current employees. Your employees are looking for benefits that are all about fulfilling their wants and needs.

Engagement is created through a different cultural approach, that includes building trust, loyalty, open communication, and shared values. Creating a culture based on these ideas allows you to help your employees see why they should be engaged with your organization.

To Establish a Culture that Improves Employee Engagement:

  • Take the time to properly onboard new employees so that they can become a productive part of your organization sooner. This allows them to become familiar with your processes, procedures, and culture. They will also be more comfortable in their new role.
  • Set company goals and communicate them with your employees. Give your employees something to work towards. By understand the company goals, your employees will get a better idea of how their work affects the organization.
  • Focus on your employee’s career development and their future with or without your organization. Your employees want to continue to develop their skills and they are looking for you to give them the opportunity to make that happen. When you have a culture that embraces development, your employees will feel like you care about their future.
  • Don’t micromanage your employees, empower them to become autonomous. When employees are working independently, their decision to engage with the company is their own. This stimulates organic passion, resulting in higher levels of engagement. Help them to become autonomous by providing the necessary space for autonomous work, giving them flexibility in their schedules, and exercising trust in their abilities.
  • Provide a work/life blend instead of a work/life balance. Embrace flexibility that allows your employees to blend their personal and professional responsibilities, instead of balancing them 50/50. This can be successfully done through allowing location and work-hour flexibility.

2. Engage Your Leadership Team

Engagement begins and ends with your leadership team, as these are the people that are responsible for the engagement of all your employees. When your leadership team is not engaged, no one in your organization will be engaged.

To effectively engage your leadership team, you must communicate openly with them. Always keep them in the conversation, especially when it involves the engagement of their team. If your leaders feel like they are not involved in decision-making, they will question their role and their value as part of your leadership team. Once they begin questioning, their engagement will decline, and a real problem will set in.

Your employees need to believe in your leadership team for true employee engagement to take place. If your leaders are not giving 100% because they are not engaged, their team will follow suit.

To engage your leaders and their teams:

  • Educate Leaders about the value of employee engagement. Give them a deep understanding of the benefits of improving engagement and how their role impacts those benefits for other employees and the organization.
  • Measure the Engagement Efforts of your leadership team. Set goals and expectations for each individual leader and the entire leadership team. Share your results of engagement analysis with the team and provide your leaders with visibility and benchmarks. It’s important for them to see the results of their efforts.
  • Empower Leaders to take an active role in determining how to effectively engage their team. Encourage them to produce their own initiatives and help them to implement. Allow them to show you that they know their team and can lead them in an engaging way.
  • Hold Leaders Accountable for the engagement and performance of their team. Set goals and provide regular feedback on their overall efforts. A study showed that managers who received feedback on their strengths showed 8.9% greater profitability.
  • Show Results to your leadership team. They want to see that their efforts are paying off and you can give them the reassurance that they need to feel engaged. Let them know how their initiatives are having an impact on their team and the organization.

3. Provide Engaging Feedback 

Giving feedback can be overlooked when considering employee engagement strategies. However, it has an important role in increasing engagement.

Providing regular feedback allows employees to grow and develop, in turn enabling them to take on more challenging tasks with increased confidence. This is because, based on the feedback given to them, employees know where they stand in their roles and how to perform better in the future.

Feedback is a great way to increase employee engagement, but are your current efforts effective?

6 Feedback Tips to Improve Employee Engagement:

  • Give Feedback that focuses on the task or goal completed, and not the individual. Ask questions like, “What are the results?” or “How can I provide future guidance?” This will allow you to give feedback on the job and how the employee can improve. It also lets the employee know that their work impacts the organization, and that they have your support.
  • Provide Consistent Feedback throughout the organization. There should be no bias shown when giving feedback to your employees. Focus feedback on the job, process, and results instead of the person.
  • Create a Plan to Communicate feedback. It’s important for anyone that is giving feedback to have a plan in place for how they can guide the conversation and manage the communication. This is a great opportunity to involve the leaders in your organization as you set objectives for communication. It is also a time to reflect on the communication skills that need to be developed.
  • Give Feedback Regularly to every employee. Feedback should not only be provided once a year. It should be a strategy implemented to continuously engage and therefore should take place on a weekly, or even daily, basis.
  • Consider the Timing of your feedback. Take a moment to think about if this is the best situation to give feedback to your employees. If tensions are high or the situation is heated, giving feedback would have a negative impact on engagement.
  • Be Sincere when giving your employees feedback. It’s up to you to own the feedback that you are giving. Be sure that the feedback is honest and given with the right intentions. It’s true that feedback isn’t always positive, but the way in which you present the information can still engage employees.

To discuss how Insala’s solutions can aid in implementing your employee engagement strategies, request a demo today.

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