8 Employee Engagement Strategies That Actually Work
Engaging employees is a highly effective business strategy, but it’s easier said than done. Your first inclination might be to build out a new benefits package and offer exciting perks like a cold brew on tap or an on-site wellness room. While your team will likely appreciate the new stuff, these changes do more to increase job satisfaction than boost engagement, two related but different concepts.
If you’re wondering how to motivate employees, look no further than these eight employee engagement strategies that actually work.
1.UPHOLD YOUR CORE VALUES
Your core values should be the heart of your company culture and clearly explained to every employee from day one. Company core values should explain what truly matters to your team and the ideals that you’ll strive to uphold as you expand. Employees need to establish a sense of belonging to your company in order to become truly engaged, and having a code of values to follow will help them do so. By consistently promoting your core values to the entire team, you’ll create a cohesive positive work culture and encourage employees to form an emotional connection to your organization.
2. CARVE OUT CAREER PATHS AND PROVIDE OPPORTUNITIES FOR GROWTH
94% of employees say they’d stay at their job longer if they felt the organization truly invested in their career. Providing employees opportunities to grow their skill set keeps them engaged, and having something to work toward keeps them motivated. Not only that, but learning and development initiatives demonstrate that you value your employees as individuals — you choose to continually invest in your people, rather than replace employees with candidates that have the skills you desire.
3. RECOGNIZE TOP PERFORMERS
Employees are engaged when they feel their work is valuable to the company and helps the organization achieve its long-term goals. Regularly showing employees that you recognize and appreciate their efforts is a simple gesture that goes a long way in making them feel valued.
Reward top performers for their achievements with a cash prize, free day off, a gift card to their favorite lunch spot or a massage gift certificate — whatever makes sense for your team and aligns with your core values. In addition, give employees a platform to acknowledge their peers; feeling respected and appreciated by their team members will help employees become more engaged.
4. PROMOTE TRANSPARENCY
Bringing employees into the fold as frequently as possible is a highly effective employee engagement strategy. If your team doesn’t know what’s happening behind the scenes, they can’t fully invest themselves and their energies into the company. Plus, if they get the sense that they’re intentionally being left out of the loop, they may start to distrust management and lose confidence in leadership.
Of course, it’s well within your rights to be discreet as situations unfold or priorities change, but you should aim to inform team members about decisions that directly affect them as soon as you are able.
5. ALLOW FOR HONEST FEEDBACK
This strategy is twofold. The first step is to create a platform or system that enables employees to share their thoughts and ask questions of the right people. This will most likely be your HR department, but C-Suite executives should also be accessible to all employees, even if it is only for a few days out of the quarter and by appointment only.
The second step is to actually use your team’s feedback. Nothing will frustrate and disengage your employees faster than if they feel they’re wasting the time-sharing matters that are truly important to them. Listen to what your team members have to say and act on it.
6. HOLD EMPLOYEES ACCOUNTABLE
Engaged employees are willing to go the extra mile, but that doesn’t mean you should expect them to operate at an above-average clip all the time. They’re not the only person on the team, so make sure they’re not left in the lurch and expected to work on behalf of their peers. Relying solely on the efforts of your most engaged employees will likely lead to employee burnout.
7. HOLD YOURSELF ACCOUNTABLE
Make sure managers, HR heads and executives lead by example. If employees feel like the office rules only apply to a select few — or only apply when it’s convenient for leadership — they’ll begin to distrust management. An inkling of distrust between team members is a slippery slope that can lead to a negative work culture. A toxic office environment and culture can disengage employees and send them looking for a new job.
8. REVAMP YOUR OFFICE SPACE
Your office environment plays a large part in your employee’s engagement. You’ve probably noticed that cubicles are rare in today’s world, and that’s largely due to their isolating nature. Siloing employees doesn’t quite allow for communication or collaboration, two important factors of business success.
Rework your floor plan in a way that encourages more cross-communication between employees. By forming strong relationships with their peers, they’ll build a sense of camaraderie and belonging that’s vital to fostering an engaged workforce.