8 Actionable Employee Engagement Strategies

Image of diverse group of employees brainstorming around a conference table

Engaged employees value more than their paychecks. They’re enthusiastic about their jobs and have a genuine desire to help your organization thrive. It’s no surprise that companies with high employee engagement bring in 21% more profits, while disengaged employees cost organizations in the U.S. up to $550 billion annually.

As that last statistic shows, employee engagement doesn’t just happen on its own. Organizations need to cultivate it. Here are eight employee engagement strategies that can change your company for the better.

8 employee engagement strategies that make a difference

These eight strategies address the most impactful employee engagement factors. Start practicing them, and you’ll be on your way to a more motivated, committed workforce.

1. Give employees a voice

Employees want to know that their thoughts and opinions matter. When organizations listen to and act on employee feedback, team members appreciate it, and they’ll invest more of themselves in the company. Employees who believe their voice is heard are 4.6 times more likely to perform at their best.

There’s no better way to encourage employee voice than through regular employee engagement surveys. Use a combination of pulse surveys — short questionnaires designed to track responses about a certain topic over time — and an always-on feedback channel to keep track of employee engagement in real time. Find a platform that makes diving into the data easy with features like heat maps, which show areas of weakness and strength at a glance.

To implement this engagement strategy, you should use an employee engagement solution that empowers managers to take appropriate action quickly. HR plays a key role in training managers on how to respond to feedback effectively, but it’s up to the managers themselves to act. Your platform should provide each manager with everything they need to work with their team to create a collaborative action plan that everyone buys into.

Discover how to create a culture of trust with employee listening

2. Recognize and reward all team members

Employee engagement and employee recognition go hand in hand. And employees who feel appreciated stick around — 63% of employees who are recognized at work often are unlikely to look for a new job.

Social recognition, from saying “thank you” in the hallway to providing kudos at a company-wide meeting, can be even more impactful than monetary recognition — when it’s delivered the right way. Employees aren’t engaged by half-hearted gratitude delivered months after the fact. Instead, encourage all team members, from the executive level on down, to provide recognition frequently and in real time. By recognizing employees quickly after the desired behavior, and by clearly linking the recognition to that behavior, you’re much more likely to see those actions repeated.

You want monetary recognition to be just as easy to provide, so ensure your recognition solution also supports point-based rewards. All team members then receive points they can award to others, who can then redeem them for rewards that they actually want. Engagement requires personalization, and there’s nothing more personal and meaningful than a reward you’ve chosen yourself.

Getting everyone at your organization involved with recognition is much simpler when you have a platform that lets team members provide both social and points-based recognition from anywhere, anytime. The right tool can also make the recognition experience more engaging by letting employees like and comment on specific recognitions, as well as by “boosting” recognitions they find especially meaningful with additional points.

3. Establish great values — and live by them

Your company’s core values are its guiding principles and beliefs. Employees crave working for an organization whose values speak to them — the culture and values of an organization are the biggest contributing factor to employee satisfaction. This makes defining and acting on exceptional company values a winning employee engagement strategy.

Whatever your organization’s values are, you should keep them short, specific, and closely connected to the goals your company wants to achieve. Employees are more likely to connect with values that are understandable and relate to both the company’s internal culture and its effect on the world at large. The best values accurately reflect your culture and show what sets your company apart from its competitors.

After defining your values, ensure that you’re clearly communicating them to employees and that your organization demonstrates those values in everything it does. If employees buy into your company’s values and see your company and its leadership sticking to them, they’ll be motivated to exemplify them in their own work. You should also reward team members for actions that reflect your values, as what gets recognized gets repeated.

Discover how to build a value-based culture that drives business performance.

4. Prioritize diversity and inclusion

When you foster a diverse and inclusive environment, all of your employees feel involved and supported, regardless of who they are or what jobs they perform. In a recent survey, 57% of employees stated they hope their company becomes more diverse. And with a variety of viewpoints and perspectives, your company will benefit from greater creativity and innovation.

You can start encouraging diversity in many ways, from leveraging tools to measure the success of your D&I initiatives to prioritizing diversity during the hiring process. Your organization should do everything it can to establish an environment of psychological safety where employees know that they’re valued for themselves, not just what they do.

5. Provide great incentives

There will be times when even the most engaged employees seem less interested or passionate about their work. Maybe they feel a bit burnt out. Or maybe they need an extra push or pick-me-up.

Whatever the situation is, great incentives can help. At their core, incentives are rewards that promote hard work and positivity. Research has shown that organizations who take advantage of incentive programs have a 79% higher success rate in meeting their goals, provided they offer the right reward.

Since your company has its own unique values, you should select incentives that align with them as well as the desires and interests of your employees. Examples of incentives you may want to consider include referral programs, professional development opportunities, on-site health screenings, bonuses, exciting experiences and other gifts — the list goes on. Survey your employees to find out what incentives they want the most, and tailor your initiatives to match.

6. Support employee wellness

The benefits of employee wellness are tremendous. It can lead to fewer absences, lower healthcare costs, and greater productivity. You’ll find that happier and healthier employees are more dedicated to their jobs and outperform those whose physical and mental health is on the back burner. Over 80% of employers say that their organization’s wellness program has a positive impact on the health of their workers and leads to improved productivity.

If you’d like to implement this employee engagement strategy, start with the basics, like combating burnout and encouraging mindfulness. Educate your employees on healthy habits and provide rewards for practicing them with a recognition platform that integrates with a wellness solution. Employees can then automatically receive reward points when they achieve their tracked wellness goals, which only provides further motivation to make healthy choices in and out of the workplace.

7. Foster professional growth

Engaged employees view their time with your organization as a career, not just a job. It’s essential that you encourage team members to think this way by supporting their professional development. When employees see that you’re investing in them and care about their growth, they’ll pay it back by going the extra mile and producing higher quality results. According to one survey, 68% of employees believe training and development is the most important policy in their organization.

So how can you promote professional growth? First and foremost, establish sensible career paths so every employee has a clear route to advancement. Be open to employees taking on new projects and responsibilities that may not be in their job description — cross-training keeps them engaged and teaches them useful skills. You can also organize training sessions in which employees learn new hard or soft skills. And cover the costs of conferences and seminars for employees to help them stay on top of industry trends and changes.

8. Train leaders on engagement

Some leaders in your organization may be unaware of the importance of employee engagement or what they can do to promote it. Make the benefits of employee engagement known to your leaders so they understand why it’s so important, and provide them with the training they need to build an engaged workforce. HR needs to connect with every executive and manager to ensure they’re equipped with the knowledge and tools they need to act on employee feedback, show recognition in real time, and do everything else in their power to implement your organization’s employee engagement strategies on a daily basis.

Start boosting engagement today

Engaging your employees doesn’t have to be a challenge. Achievers has the tools you need to discover how to engage everyone at your organization and then put those strategies into action.

Achievers Listen is an employee engagement solution that gives your employees a voice and allows your leaders to take real-time action on the feedback they receive. Frequent pulse surveys accelerate the feedback loop, while employees can make themselves heard at any time thanks to Achievers’ intelligent, always-on feedback channel. Achievers Listen also integrates with Achievers Recognize, a comprehensive R&R solution that makes it easy for team members at all levels to provide social and points-based recognition.

Start building employee engagement with Achievers by scheduling your free demo today.

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