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8 Ways to Improve Employee Engagement

Published February 16, 2021 (last updated February 19, 2021) -
employees happy and engaged

Employee engagement is the emotional commitment an employee has to your organisation and its goals. For years, organisations have been tracking and working to improve employee engagement in order to improve performance, productivity, retention rates, and ultimately bottom line results. According to FastTrack360, 71% of leadership teams say that employee engagement is essential to the success of organisation.

When employees are engaged employees, they tend to be happier, motivated, and innovative. In a HubSpot study, 69% of employees say they would work harder if they were better appreciated. However, those who get little to no feedback from their employers tend to disengage from their work more readily.

But despite these eye-opening studies, 85% of employees are not engaged in the workplace, according to Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace survey. Disengaged employees are more likely to leave – a 2017 study revealed that 81% of employees would quit for the right offer, even if they weren’t searching for a job. Not only that, disengaged employees are less likely to perform well, provide poorer customer experiences, and can negatively impact organisational culture.

With that in mind, let’s now look at eight ways to improve employee engagement (nine ways if we’re including BrightHR).

Long-term strategies for Improving Employee Engagement

Provide a Clear Vision and Purpose

To lead, you need a clear vision of where you are going and what you plan to achieve in the journey. So, take time to analyse your short and long-term goals and your roadmap before getting everyone on board. Create a list of company core values and train your team in these values. When employees understand the vision and purpose, they’ll know what’s expected of them. Lead as an example and hold your teams accountable for their actions. 

Prioritise Feedback and Recognition

Studies show that almost all employees crave recognition for their work, as well as actionable feedback to help them improve. A lack of both recognition and feedback can negatively impact engagement levels. So, if you don’t have a recognition or feedback system in place, this is the best time to implement one as part of your company culture. This can be as simple as making sure to say ‘Thank You’ at the end of the day. When employees receive (and give) feedback from their managers and peers, they feel valued, confident, and less stressed out. In addition to feedback, you should also encourage open communication to understand better how your teams feel.

BrightHR helping you manage your people and business

Contact us to find out how BrightHR people management software and help you manage and store your essential employee records and documents.

Provide Training and Development Opportunities

Employees thrive in workplaces that focus on continuous growth. You don’t want to be the one to make them feel stuck. Offering periodic training and career development helps your team members gain more skills and knowledge and increases their engagement levels. Your teams will feel valued and happy to see a rising graph in their career. 

Invest in Health and Wellness

What better way to show your commitment to the team than by building a well-functioning health and wellness program? Investing in health and wellness is a tangible way to increase employee engagement. A new employee engagement survey suggests that mere access to several wellness programs can influence employee loyalty, job satisfaction, and work relationships. Health and wellness programs include things like:

  • Mental health programs
  • Fitness challenges
  • Discounted health insurance
  • Health assessments
  • Wellness coaching and onsite medical clinics
  • Additional annual leave

Promote Taking Breaks

Your employees could also use a break from time to time. They are humans and are prone to fatigue, boredom, stress, and so on. So, try encouraging them to take short breaks between work to stretch, grab coffee, chat, among other things. Taking a break can increase focus, relieve stress, and increase employee engagement.

Focus on Engaging Management

A 2009 study found that employees with higher levels of engagement with their management are more committed to their workplace than those who are less engaged. So, it goes without saying that management plays a crucial role in employee engagement. Train your managers, and encourage them to be involved with their teams. Employees become more engaged when their managers focus on their development, give feedback and help them meet their goals. 

Encourage Flexibility 

One of the easiest ways to increase employee engagement is by encouraging flexibility. Flexibility allows your teams to adjust their location or work schedules better to suit their needs. Many employers prefer to micromanage their teams and ensure that everything happens according to the book. But you’ll be surprised by how efficient and productive your employees can be without your watchful eyes. 

Provide the Right Tools to Work

Your employees need the right tools to deliver results. Unless you invest in robust company infrastructure, it might be hard for your team to deliver quality. In some cases, they may even strain to perform their daily duties and end up disengaging. Disengaged employees are not motivated to complete work on time – let alone do it right.

If there’s one thing to learn from all these, is that employee engagement is the cornerstone of any successful company. It accounts for a more effective leadership, better overall wellbeing, more sales, higher profits, less theft, lower turnover among other mission-critical aspects. With these tips, you should be able to implement an effective strategy to improve employee engagement.

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About Employsure

Employsure is one of New Zealand’s largest workplace relations advisers to small- and medium-businesses, with over 5,000 clients. We take the complexity out of workplace legislation to help small business employers protect their business and their people.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What Is Employee Engagement?

    Employee engagement is the emotional commitment an employee has to your organisation and its goals, which has been shown to increase performance and productivity, and reduce turnover. As such, understanding what affects an employee’s productivity and maximising their engagement can bring huge benefits to your business.

  • How Can I Increase My Employee Engagement At Work From Home?

    • Regularly check in with your employee(s)
    • Have video or phone calls with your employees
    • Keep communication up
    • Take time to recognise work and provide feedback
    • Have regular conversations about development and opportunities
  • What is Effective Employee Engagement?

    Effective employee engagement is when the strategies you’re implementing to engage employees are working.

  • What Are Some Employee Engagement Activities?

    • Provide regular recognition and feedback
    • Offer career and development opportunities
    • Play games or trivia to build reltaionships
    • Promote transparency and collaboration
    • Promote work-life balance
    • Offer training sessions to your employees
    • Offer paid charity days to your employees
    • Have a weekly food day or monthly luncheon
    • Offer perks and benefits
  • What Affects Employee Engagement?

    Employee engagement is affected by the culture of the workplace, the employer-employee relationship, the demands of the tasks required in the workplace and the rewards or benefits of those tasks. So, in short, more or less everything that makes up a workplace.

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