It’s startling to look at the statistics surrounding employee engagement. According to Gallup, only 33 percent of US employees are engaged in their work, and this percentage has barely increased over the last five years. This low level of employee engagement has company leaders looking for strategies to increase workforce engagement.
Why Is Employee Engagement Important?
It sounds simple — better engagement leads to better productivity and retention. But it can be challenging to put employee engagement strategies into place that will convert workers from feeling unhappy in their job to driving innovation and actively helping a company meet their objectives. Below are five ideas you can use to implement activities that drive engagement, while also setting up a long term focus on employee engagement initiatives for your company.
1. Supply the Right Tools
A big part of employee engagement is equipping workers with the right tools to acclimate to the company’s procedures, programs, and benefits from the very beginning. Making it easy for employees to learn about, access, and navigate through potentially complicated systems like benefits and company policies can help limit frustrations and happily engage employees. Providing tools that offer features like a personalized benefits enrollment experience or a single portal to access all employer-provided benefit information can help an employee feel connected to their company, while increasing their appreciation for what their company has to offer them. Remember, less sometimes can be more. If you can tie multiple onboarding portals together for employees then you’re offering your employees an easier and less overwhelming experience.
2. Encourage Continuous Development
Taking a vested interest in the future of your workers is one way to drive employee engagement. Help workers build skills that will not only help them succeed at their current job, but will help prepare them for future opportunities. This can include leadership trainings, financial planning assistance, and encouragement towards hiring within. Remove the obstacles workers may face to gaining proper training and professional development to help them grow in the company. Making this one of the company’s core values can demonstrate a commitment to employee engagement.
3. Create an Environment Where Personal Connections Thrive
It has been statistically proven that when people are able to make friends at work, they’re happier in their organization. By giving employees opportunities to connect with each other through special activities, you can not only grow healthy personal relationships within the company, but also create an opportunity to help workers feel valued. Ask employees to contribute their own time or talents to a special social activity or create something to keep in the office that promotes social interaction between co-workers. If someone is especially passionate about a particular service project, ask them to introduce it to the office and invite co-workers to join in at a special event. Involving employees in activities which promote engagement can add an additional purpose to their work and make them feel appreciated in yet another way.
4. Place Value on Employee Contributions
Feeling appreciated and happiness often go hand-in-hand because most people want to know the work they’re doing is valued. In a corporate setting, you can appreciate and value your employees for the work they do and the feedback they provide. Recognizing your employees and even rewarding them for their efforts can increase engagement because you’re providing them with a better understanding of the positive impacts they have on the company. Recognition programs, yearly achievement awards and even friendly competitions provide employees with specific goals or milestones that they can set their minds on to achieve while also encouraging stronger work tactics, sometimes also resulting in incentives.
5. Connect Engagement to Daily Life
As you develop programs and activities to grow employee engagement, make sure you’re presenting these initiatives in ways that pertain to the day-to-day life of your workers. Putting this focus on daily life helps cement employee engagement as a tenet of your corporate culture and makes it constantly visible to employees. Discuss employee engagement at regular meetings, in strategy sessions, and during one-on-one meetings with employees to really show how important it is to management that employees are engaged. By bringing the overall company goals down to each specific employee, showing how their work can provide a direct impact on those goals not only makes the employees feel more empowered, but also that they can make a true difference. Having managers provide employees with what their role is in the overall company success can change the way an employee approaches their everyday tasks.
Keep the Focus on Employee Engagement
Throughout the U.S., disengaged employees are costing the country anywhere between $450 billion and $550 billion each year, according to Gallup. By implementing any of the above employee engagement activities or strategies, you can create a corporate culture full of individuals who are proud to represent your organization and who feel inspired to do their best work because they truly care about the future of your company.
Hodges-Mace helps employers make meaningful connections with employees using a variety of tools and strategies, including employee onboarding solutions, custom communications, artificial intelligence, and an innovative mobile engagement platform.