Looking for tried and tested strategies to boost your employee engagement? This article lists 10 excellent ways the best organizations successfully engage and retain their employees. In other words, they have proven to work.
What Is Employee Engagement?
Enhancing employee engagement is one of the top five business strategies of executives globally since they understand that it directly affects their organization's financial health and profitability, according to SHRM.
In simple terms, employee engagement indicates how invested or committed an employee is to the organization, its goals, job duties, and co-workers. The investment can be captured by an employee's emotional connection and enthusiasm for his organization.
Why Is Employee Engagement Critical?
An engaged employee brings in his fullest potential, is loyal, and would most definitely recommend their friends to join them at work. In addition, we know that employee engagement is tied to employee satisfaction, productivity, and retention.
1. Team Up With Your Internal Communications And Engagement Folks
Human Resources and Internal Communication teams make an excellent recipe for an engaged workforce.
Let your employees stay in the loop about all aspects of the company. Then, through internal communication, provide an adequate flow of information. An intranet is paramount for internal comms. Use different channels like MS SharePoint, emails, newsletters, Slack, Yammer, and Teams to reach your audience.
2. Conduct Internal Events
Engaged employees are most definitely happy and contented. Make frequent connections through town halls, all-hands meetings, and fireside chats for employees to hear directly from their leaders. Bring your teams together on Thursday for a happy hour or Friday for a virtual coffee talk to beat the mundane.
If you have not been celebrating birthdays, festivals, and holidays, build that into your list. And don't forget running contests, lifeskill workshops, team outings, lunch n learns, brown bags, office themes, etc., to foster connection. They're all splendid forms of engaging your employees.
3. Make Your CSR Initiatives Meaningful
Do you know that your employees take pride in your organization's commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility?
According to HRBP, volunteer programs boost engagement and productivity and increase hiring and retention. This is because employees like to be associated with causes that are dear to them and help them even do better at work. As an HR Manager, identify causes close to your company's values and look for opportunities to serve around those areas.
Or simply offer time-off like many other companies for employees to volunteer for the causes they care for. If you do not have the scope for running CSR for various reasons, then tie up with CSR partners who execute the programs in person and virtually. This can significantly enhance your engagement score.
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4. Run Employee Resource Groups
Everybody wants to be in a place that makes them feel welcomed and belonged. Therefore, employee Resource Groups (ERG) form a significant part of your Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion strategy. ERGs allow employees to be heard, valued, and engaged deeply.
As an HR manager, you can identify the scope for new ERGs and encourage employees to join one or more of the groups. And if you wish to go one step further, track your engagement and share the report at the annual council meeting to show how the groups are doing.
This will give a critical understanding of what is going well and areas for improvement.
5. Create a Positive Work Culture
A positive work environment is a space for open communication, bringing our best selves to work without being judged, leading to networking and connection beyond the office's four walls. It is also a space where ideas are appreciated, experiences are valued, and employees are treated fairly despite differences.
Creating such an aura usually starts with the intentions of the founders/leadership. However, as an HR Manager, you can bring that inclusivity through communication from your team, encourage teams to join for events conducted, and ensure any reported unfair incidents are addressed appropriately.
You can also look for hiring employee engagement companies to improve the engagement and motivation among the employees.
6. Recognize Efforts and Promote a Culture Of Appreciation
Rewards and recognitions are engagement enhancers. When your employees see that you see their efforts and value their contribution, they tend to put their heart and soul into reaching your business goals.
So, don't wait for quarterly awards or year-end parties to recognize hard work and achievements.
Make recognition a part of the everyday process by encouraging people leaders to create that culture. It can be kudos emails, spot awards, monthly performance awards, goodwill awards, invite teams to present their work at town halls, sign up with gifting companies to redeem points against their awards, etc.
Often, a recognized employee is loyal and sticks around for long.
7. Provide Corporate Gifts
Who's not fond of receiving thoughtful and memorable gifts from your organization?
Gifts are simple and impressive ways to tell your employees that you care about them, see them work hard, and value their contribution to the growth of the business.
As an HR manager, you can create a list of different occasions, festivals, and small moments that could brighten your employees' work-life through corporate gifting. A new joiner kit is a great place to start.
Long service awards and employee performance awards are staples, with festive gifts next on the list. Several corporate gifting companies help you in the seemingly daunting process and make your job much easier.
Did you know that the trendy gifting idea right now is the "welcome back kit" with a warm message to welcome employees returning to the in-person office? Your heartfelt gifts can help reinforce the positive work culture you've built, so never skip this.
8. Offer An Excellent Career Path With Scope To Learn And Develop
Continuous learning and growth are in the minds of all employees. Developing and fostering that culture is key to attracting and retaining talent.
Offer visibility into the career progression of their positions, and encourage knowledge-sharing through internal training opportunities. Have a reasonable budget for training programs and certifications and incorporate cross-training to learn how to perform tasks independently.
9. Ask For Feedback
If you're doing everything but miss out on seeking feedback from your employees, you may be on the downhill road. A genuine request for feedback shows your employees that you care about their opinions and value their suggestions.
In addition, it is an excellent tool for the flow of communication from the bottom-up, i.e., from employees to the leadership.
Have you tried the NPS yet? By asking your workforce a simple question, such as how likely are they to recommend their friends to join your company, you could gain a deeper understanding of their engagement.
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10. Measure Your Metrics
If you don't measure, you will never improve.
However, as an HR manager, you can access a lot of data to enhance your company's growth. The data, when analyzed, can give you a perspective into how your employees feel and accordingly adapt workplace strategies to create a pleasant employee experience.
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While employee engagement has been an area of focus during and immediately after the pandemic, it is not limited to leadership or boardroom talks. Every HR manager can serve as a champion for employees to feel connected and engaged. In addition, having an engaged workforce will directly show up in your business reports, and hence becomes inevitable to focus on fostering a dynamic environment.