By Shyamal Parikh
When the “Great Resignation” hit the corporate world, only a few companies were able to retain their employees. What exactly did they do differently?
They focused on employee engagement.
But what is employee engagement?
The term “employee engagement” defines the level of dedication and passion an employee shows towards their organization. In simple words, an employee who wants the company to succeed and grow is the one who is completely engaged in the organization.
Do you know that around 85% of global employees have stated that they do not feel engaged in their work environment? Most employees are doing their jobs just for a paycheck and nothing else. They do not care about the organization’s growth and core values or bother contributing more to their company.
85% of global employees have stated that they do not feel engaged in their work environment
Why do employees feel like this? Shouldn’t all employees feel more passionate about their work? Yes, they should, but it depends on various factors like the company’s management, leadership, work culture, technology stack, and of course employee attitude. Organizations with actively disengaged employees experience a lack of productivity, decreased retention rate, and poor growth.
That’s why we have come up with the 8 most effective employee engagement strategies you can use in your organization. Let’s get started.
1. Conduct an Employee Engagement Survey
Before applying any unique strategy just by reading an online article, it’s important to conduct a proper survey in your organization. An employee engagement survey will help you understand what your employees are expecting from you.
Every organization is different, and so are there requirements, core values, and visions. Based on all these things, you need to organize a survey for employees where they can suggest improvements, changes, and things that they do not like. Ensure the employees submit the survey anonymously so that the answers are genuine. Once you get the answers, go through them and start implementing those changes.
2. Improve Internal Communication
One of the major factors that companies need to consider for improving employee engagement is internal communication. Do your employees are able to communicate effectively with their managers? Do you involve your employees in every big or small decision?
Lack of internal communication leads to misunderstandings and employees start losing trust. That’s why it’s vital to have transparent communication between all the members of your organization. It helps employees share their ideas openly with each other and contributes to the growth of the organization.
3. Provide Perks & Bonuses
Who doesn’t love getting additional perks and bonuses for their work? We sure do, and so does every other employee on this planet. Apart from giving your employees their monthly paycheck, make sure to include incentives for their goals and achievements.
Platforms like Compt ensure that your perks program is properly handled and it also saves the efforts of your finance teams. The software even calculates taxes and supports multiple currencies to save you from additional work. You can use Compt for distributing perks and bonuses in your company.
Apart from that, make sure to include nice perks once in a while. Perks and remunerations such as gym memberships, learning stipends, equipment stipends, family stipends, etc. can do wonders and increase your company’s employee engagement rate.
4. Recognize Employees
Let’s say there was a major project for which an employee worked hard day and night and achieved far better results than the client’s expectations. Everyone was happy, and all his colleagues and managers praised him for his efforts. How would that employee feel? Proud, right?
Employee recognition gives a morale boost to an employee’s self-esteem and encourages them to put their best foot forward for every project. Besides, it also encourages other employees to do their best and receive such appreciation.
You don’t have to award “employee of the month” to them. A simple public appreciation, a note about their efforts in the newsletter, or recognition in the next team meeting, will do the magic. These small gestures give effective results in the long run.
Instead of giving your team gift cards which are limited or cash which is impersonal, tie your bonus programs to a perk stipend so employees can get what they want when they want it. Compt benefit management platform integrates with Slack so you can spotlight your employees by notifying them when they receive a bonus.
5. Boost Employee Engagement Using Technology
Technology has come far from where it was, and almost every organization has now started adopting digital tools to improve employee productivity and engagement. Let’s take a look at some of the tools you can use to boost employee engagement -
- Communication Tools: Work communication platforms like Slack, Teams, or Zoom are perfect for interacting with colleagues in real-time. If you are operating remotely, it is quite difficult for teams to remain connected throughout working hours. But, these tools have made it possible to connect with team members and managers in real-time. Besides, these tools also help in getting regular updates about all ongoing processes in the work, that further engages an employee in the organization.
- Project & Task Management Tools: Many organizations now started adopting all-in-one project & task management tools like SmartTask, Asana, or Zenkit to manage all their work from one place. These tools often come with task management, project management, and various team collaboration features that allow employees to work in sync with each other. Everyone knows their daily tasks, and monthly goals, and can effectively communicate with their colleagues without leaving the workspace.
- Document Management & File Sharing Tools: Before opting for premium collaboration tools, we recommend using Google’s free productivity tools for collaboration, file sharing, and document management. Your employees can utilize Gmail & Chat for business communication, Drive for document management, Calendar for scheduling, Meet for video & voice conferencing, Docs for word processing, Sheets for data management, and Slides for presentation. These tools are easy to use and help employees stay connected with each other.
6. Promote Employee Engagement Activities
Working day and night in the office without a proper break or vacation can severely affect an employee’s mindset. Due to this, organizations perform different employee engagement activities that allow them to be free from work and enjoy their time with colleagues.
There are various activities that you can organize. For example, conducting Friday Pizza parties where everyone will have pizzas for lunch and take the rest of the day off. Or, you can conduct theme days where everyone has to dress up as per the theme.
Apart from that, it’s also important to celebrate your employee’s personal milestones in a good way. Let’s say one of your employees recently became a parent, and to show your love and support; you can conduct a mini party for them or provide specific benefits for new parents.
However, ensure that all such activities are organized during working hours and not after work, as employees might feel that you are intruding on their personal time. Such employee engagement activities give employees a proper break from work and help them rejuvenate and return to work with a fresh mind.
7. Provide Opportunities for Learning & Growth
The new generation is not just looking for a job that provides a good paycheck, nice appraisals, and benefits. They are looking for companies that will help them grow throughout their career.
Companies that invest in their employee’s career growth are more likely to have higher retention rates than those that hire employees with “need-of-the-hour” skills every two months.
Some organizations help their employees continue education and provide them stipends to invest in their career development. Other companies provide lifetime access to online courses that employees can take at any time.
A learning and development stipend provides employees flexibility to continue their education through coaching, classes, conferences, training, and books. Help Scout has a "Learn Something Stipend" where each employee is given $1,800 to spend annually on learning.
Instead of hiring candidates with the required skills, it’s better to help your existing employees upgrade their skills to benefit the organization and the employee.
8. Take Care of their Work-Life Balance
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on everyone’s lives. Most people lost their families and friends, which affected their mental health, and further degraded their work performance.
In such situations, instead of laying off an employee due to bad performance, it’s important to understand their state of mind, take care of their well-being, and help them recover. How? By giving them “No Explanation” leaves, hiring professional help, having a wellness room, etc. These small gestures will help your employee greatly, and they will return with better results.
Organizations must also cope with the upcoming times and adapt to remote work. It’s also essential to implement the concept of flexible working hours so that employees can manage both household and work activities without stressing or burning out.
Remote work, proper PTO policy, and flexible working hours; are just some small steps that will help you take care of your employees' work-life balance.
Employee engagement is important for every organization. If employees are not interested or feel disengaged in the organization, it would lead to decreased employee performance and poor growth. It’s essential to devise engagement strategies that are fruitful for both employees as well as organization. As each company is unique, the engagement strategy for each of them should also be unique.
Before companies start implementing the above-mentioned strategies, it is important for them to see if the tactics align with their company’s core values and vision. You need to create benefit programs that will work best for your company. Start by researching the most common perks employees want and budget accordingly.
Curious to see how other companies budget for different employee perks? Check out the 2022 benchmark report.
About the author:
Shyamal Parikh is the Founder of SmartTask, an online work management/automation software that helps teams streamline their processes may it be sales, hiring, customer success, or projects. He actively shares strategies and techniques that improve a team’s productivity.