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18 proven employee engagement strategies for a thriving workplace

18 proven employee engagement strategies for a thriving workplace

Jonathan Davies


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10 mins read

Fri, Jul 14, '23  

In the bustling business world, a shocking 85% of employees are not engaged in their workplace. Employee disengagement is not just a matter of morale—it's a costly problem for employers. 

Disengaged employees lead to higher turnover rates, and with each departure, companies incur significant costs in recruitment, training, and lost productivity. Costs per new hire average $4,700, and costs to hire executives and leaders are 3 or 4 times higher

But it doesn't have to be this way. By implementing effective employee engagement strategies, businesses can transform their workforce into a motivated, productive, and loyal team. 

This article will guide you through the importance of engagement and provide practical strategies for employee engagement in your organization.

What are employee engagement strategies?

An employee engagement strategy is a comprehensive plan designed to foster a positive emotional connection between employees and their organization. It's not just about job satisfaction or employee happiness—it's about creating an environment where employees take pride in their work and the business's success.

This strategy is guided by organizational goals and employee feedback, focusing on key drivers such as a sense of purpose, job satisfaction, company culture, and career growth opportunities. Employee engagement goes beyond perks and recognition, aiming to create an emotional bond that motivates employees to contribute to the company's success.

18 proven employee engagement strategies

Creating an employee engagement strategy isn’t a one-size-fits-all process. It requires a tailored approach reflecting a company's unique values, culture, and engagement levels. 

If you're starting from a place of widespread disengagement, remember building morale and engagement is a journey, not a sprint. Here are some strategies to improve employee engagement rates in your company.

Send out employee engagement surveys

The first step in crafting an effective employee engagement strategy is understanding your current state of engagement. As management guru Peter Drucker famously said, "If you can't measure it, you can't improve it." 

Engagement surveys play an essential role. These surveys, which can include rating scales, open-ended questions, and multiple-choice questions, provide a comprehensive view of employees' daily experiences, interactions with management, and alignment with the company mission. 

Anonymity is essential for honest feedback. You can also use regular pulse surveys for continuous check-ins. Once the results are compiled and analyzed, you'll have a clear benchmark to measure your progress and identify improvement areas.

Set up an employee engagement committee 

Setting up an employee engagement committee is a potent strategy. This committee, ideally composed of eight to 10 committed and high-performing staff members from various levels of the organization, serves as a conduit between the workforce and management. 

The committee is responsible for addressing issues highlighted in the employee engagement survey and regular pulses, fostering a workplace where everyone feels valued. This committee enhances employee engagement by facilitating open communication and implementing changes.

Expedite the employee onboarding process

Accelerating the employee onboarding process is critical to establishing effective employee engagement among new hires. The proper onboarding process, made easier by a robust intranet like Happeo, can help new hires understand their role and the company's culture 36% faster

Happeo offers effortless alignment with the company's vision, mission, and values and provides easy access to all onboarding materials, including HR policies, how-to videos, and online learning courses. With Happeo, new employees can quickly become valuable contributors to the team.

Make it easy for employees to connect and collaborate

An intranet like Happeo can also facilitate easy connections and collaboration among employees. It provides a platform for employees to exchange information, provide feedback on projects, and stay updated. 

Features like an organized people directory, newsfeed, shared calendars, and group discussion boards make it easy for employees to connect in one place, no matter where they are. This central source fosters a collaborative and engaging work environment, especially for remote teams.

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Support two-way internal communication

Encouraging employees to voice their thoughts and questions is crucial, as is acting on the feedback received. This two-way communication helps identify and address potential hurdles and makes employees feel valued. 

Encourage employee autonomy

Promoting employee autonomy is a crucial engagement strategy. When employees have control over their work, they feel more responsible, satisfied, and motivated. This trust fosters loyalty and high performance, enhancing job satisfaction and engagement.

Make it easy for employees to find the information they need

The ease with which employees can access information directly impacts their engagement and productivity. A pivotal study by McKinsey found that employees spend nearly 20% of their workweeks searching and gathering information.

Happeo, an integrated digital workspace, consolidates essential information into a single source of truth. It synchronizes with Google Workspace, Microsoft 365 and other digital tools, ensuring all files are accessible in one place. 

Happeo’s powerful federated search feature allows employees to find any piece of information or team member with just a few keywords, across any of your tools. Additionally, it enables teams to create their own spaces for collaboration and information sharing, keeping everyone aligned and productive.

Ensure all employees feel heard

Companies can significantly boost engagement and productivity by fostering an environment where employees feel valued. Feeling heard at work promotes positivity, motivation, and trust in the workplace.

Ensuring employees feel heard involves understanding their roles and feelings about the company and getting to know them as individuals. Regular check-ins, open communication, and prompt responses to concerns or complaints are crucial. 

Be transparent with employees 

Transparency in the workplace is a vital component of employee engagement. It's more than sharing company goals or strategies; it's about building trust and understanding in ways that matter to employees. 

When employees have insight into the company's inner workings, they feel more invested and connected. Regular company updates ensure everyone is on the same page, reinforcing a strong workplace culture and improved communication. 

As a result, transparency fosters trust, sparks creativity, and boosts productivity, making it a cornerstone of effective employee engagement.

Provide learning and development opportunities

According to Gallup, 87% of millennials value career growth opportunities. By offering clear career paths, professional training, and opportunities for advancement, companies can foster a sense of purpose and motivation among employees.

Investing in employee learning and development enhances your workforce’s skills and demonstrates a company's commitment to growth. This personal and professional growth investment can lead to higher job satisfaction, increased productivity, and improved retention rates.

Provide good benefits and perks

Offering attractive perks and benefits that employees are attracted to enhances job satisfaction and fosters loyalty and productivity. Here are some examples of extras that companies can consider:

  • Flexible time off
  • Gym memberships
  • Commuter benefits
  • Continuing education coverage
  • Home office stipends
  • Equity packages
  • Paid volunteer time off (VTO)
  • Donation matching programs

Benefits and pay aren’t everything; what matters is what they mean to employees. Whether a yoga session to de-stress or a shopping discount, these extras can rejuvenate employees and prepare them for another productive work week.

Offer flexible work hours

Companies can better foster a culture of trust and autonomy by allowing employees to work at times that suit them best. This flexibility not only increases job satisfaction but also enhances productivity. 

It's a win-win situation where employees can effectively balance their personal and professional lives, leading to a more engaged and committed workforce.

Promote from within the company

Promoting from within your company motivates employees to strive for excellence while showing them a clear path to career growth. This approach encourages employees to take on new challenges and stay invested in their work. 

Not to mention, lateral movement within the company can re-engage employees who may feel stagnant in their current roles, fostering a dynamic and adaptable workforce.

Focus on diversity, equity and inclusion

According to Glassdoor, 76% of job seekers and employees consider a diverse workforce a key factor when evaluating companies. Creating a psychologically safe and inclusive workplace where everyone feels valued and heard is essential. 

Fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) attracts a broader range of talent and creates a more innovative and productive environment. Studies also show that millennials are significantly more engaged when they perceive their organization as inclusive. 

Recognize and reward employees

Regularly acknowledging employees' achievements, whether through cash prizes, gift cards, or public recognition, shows their work is valued and helps create a positive and engaged work environment. Using an intranet, companies can easily recognize and reward employees through dedicated channels, share award letters, and celebrate success in virtual team meetings. 

Peer-to-peer recognition programs also enhance engagement by empowering employees to acknowledge and appreciate their colleagues' contributions. 

Organize team-building activities

Team building activities foster communication, leadership, and employee bonding. Whether in-person or virtual, activities like virtual happy hours and creating virtual "water cooler" spaces allow teams to connect, socialize, and build a sense of community. These activities contribute to a better employee experience, reduced absenteeism, and increased engagement. 

Connect employee performance to organizational objectives

When employees understand how their contributions directly impact the organization’s success, they become more loyal, motivated and invested in the company. Clear communication about organizational objectives and how each employee's role supports those goals also helps create a sense of purpose and meaning in their work. 

Implement remote work software

A workplace's technology strategy can make or break employee engagement. A modern intranet platform like Happeo supports employee engagement and can help you roll out many of the above strategies in one go.

Features like faster onboarding and quick information retrieval help employees seamlessly access resources. A company intranet fosters connectivity, enabling collaboration and team connection across locations. 

Additionally, you can create dedicated channels for employee recognition, celebrating achievements and boosting morale. By leveraging these features, you can create a thriving workplace and enhance employee engagement seamlessly.

The value of a well-executed employee engagement strategy

A well-executed employee engagement strategy offers several benefits, from enhanced productivity and satisfaction to reduced absenteeism and turnover. Ultimately, successful results can lead to increased revenue and profitability.

Increased employee productivity

Motivated employees go the extra mile, resulting in higher productivity and overall performance. With 69% of employees saying better appreciation would motivate them, it's clear that productivity and engagement are interconnected.

Higher employee satisfaction

A strong employee engagement strategy creates a positive work environment, fostering higher job satisfaction, improved morale, and a sense of fulfillment among employees. Satisfied employees are likelier to stay with the organization and contribute their best efforts far longer than unsatisfied employees.

Lower absenteeism

Engaged employees are more committed to their work, leading to lower absenteeism rates. A Gallup study indicates that highly engaged workplaces experience 41% lower absenteeism. Organizations can reduce unplanned absences and maintain consistent productivity by creating a culture that values and supports employees.

Reduced employee turnover

Unengaged employees are more likely to find work elsewhere. Turnover rates decrease when employees feel valued, supported, and connected to the organization, resulting in cost savings in recruiting, onboarding, and training new employees. For instance, it takes one-half to twice an employee’s annual salary to replace them. 

Increased revenue and profitability

Investing in employee engagement pays off financially. Companies with a more engaged workforce are 21% more profitable. Engaged employees are more productive, customer-focused, and innovative, leading to increased revenue, improved customer satisfaction, and enhanced profitability for the organization.

Final thoughts

In today's competitive business landscape, employee engagement is crucial to organizational success. There are several effective employee engagement strategies, from fostering communication and autonomy to providing learning opportunities and recognition. These practices promote a culture of engagement, resulting in increased productivity, higher satisfaction, reduced turnover, and enhanced financial performance. 

To support these efforts, consider leveraging the power of Happeo's intranet software. Our comprehensive solution provides seamless communication, collaboration, and employee engagement. Get a demo of our innovative intranet today!