High levels of employee engagement are something that most HR teams dream of. Engaged employees are happier, more productive, and can have a direct impact on your bottom line — but how do you keep everyone engaged?
The answer is a mix of a supportive company culture and the right employee engagement strategies and tactics.
In this guide, we’ll explore:
- Why employee engagement is worth investing in
- The best employee engagement strategies to try in 2024
Read on to discover why this is a topic you should invest heavily in, and how to make that journey easier with the help of our best tips and advice.
Why is employee engagement worth investing in?
An engaged workforce isn’t something that happens by accident. Intentional employee engagement efforts bring people together, keep them happy, and give them the right environment to do their best work.
Besides building an emotional commitment, here are some of the best reasons to invest in employee engagement initiatives:
- 😃 Higher levels of employee satisfaction
- ✔️ Better customer satisfaction levels, as a result of your team members’ happiness
- 💡 More ideas and innovation
- 🏖️ Less opportunity for burnout
- 📊 Higher levels of employee productivity
- 🏆 Reduction in employee turnover, so you keep your top talent for longer
Engaged employees aren’t just happier and more motivated, but their approach to their work can lead to higher profitability and an improvement to your bottom line. Creating a better environment for your team members doesn’t just make sense from an individual perspective, but it’s a win for company-wide metrics and goals too.
10 effective employee engagement strategies
Increased employee engagement levels don’t happen overnight. It takes time, effort, and the right employee engagement ideas to bring everyone together and create the kind of environment where they’re happy to get involved. Here’s how to boost employee engagement with real-world strategies and tactics.
1. Get onboarding right
Your onboarding journey is your first opportunity to not only impress your new team members but set the tone for employee engagement moving forward. Get your new hires onboard with the way you operate now, and they’re more likely to keep up those high engagement levels for longer.
Use Polly to set up an employee onboarding workflow that introduces new hires to the way you work right from the start. Welcome new employees into your culture, schedule team icebreakers, and check in with them at regular intervals to create an immersive and supportive onboarding process.
2. Promote transparency and trust
Employees are more likely to engage with your content, culture, and initiatives if there’s a sense of trust and an emotional connection to their team members and the company. Build trust by demonstrating transparency at every level.
Feature trust and transparency as part of your core values and build a culture around honesty. Keep employees informed of changes, make your company’s future plans available to staff members, and host fireside chats or Q&A sessions where your leadership team can model the values of honesty and transparency with their answers.
3. Improve team communication and collaboration
At organizations with high employee engagement levels, you’ll often find that teams communicate frequently and openly. That’s because investing in team communication and collaboration improves transparency, builds relationships, and makes room for innovation.
Create more opportunities for team members to get to know each other with team building activities and #watercooler channels. Use internal communication tools to create spaces for team collaboration and idea sharing. Alongside this, use tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams to enhance day-to-day team communication — especially if you’re part of a hybrid or remote work team.
4. Encourage autonomy
If your team members feel like they have no control and can’t influence anything, they’re likely to experience burnout and disengagement. Introduce opportunities for autonomy in the workplace and let your employees guide their own schedules.
Adjust the way you operate to give team members more flexibility and autonomy over areas of their career, like the hours or days they work, the tools they use, or the new skills or opportunities they pursue. Promote individual goal setting and accountability, and let team members have greater control over the way they work.
5. Review your perks and benefits
Many companies offer a standard range of perks and benefits and don’t look beyond the basics. Reflect on what you currently offer and look for ways to use your perks, benefits, and incentives to shape your company culture for the better.
Introduce new perks that focus on mental health, well-being, and work-life balance. Work with partners to secure discounts or deals on products or services you know your team members use and love. This is also a great opportunity to consider whether your wider pay and benefits package still matches the market, or whether it’s time to increase what you offer to secure and retain your top talent.
6. Champion inclusion and diversity
Diversity, equality, and inclusion efforts should be at the forefront of your mind as a human resources or management professional. Use your position to introduce and promote DEI initiatives at your organization to make it a more rewarding work environment for all.
Polly has plenty of ways you can make introverted employees feel welcome, like anonymous feedback, asynchronous daily standups, and interactive office games where you can vote or share your thoughts without saying a word. Features like this help you create a more inclusive and supportive space, where everyone feels like they can share their opinions or get involved.
7. Embrace employee feedback
You can make assumptions based on what you see and hear, but there’s nothing more valuable than honest employee feedback. Encouraging and embracing feedback means you can take action to fix what’s wrong and celebrate or do more of what’s working well.
Use Polly to help you introduce a culture of feedback and transparency. With Polly’s feedback and coaching features, it’s easier than ever to send pulse surveys and employee engagement surveys, as well as check in with team members on a regular basis. Create and schedule employee surveys and polls (or pollys as we know them!) and set up a digital suggestion box to promote a company-wide habit of sharing feedback.
8. Celebrate success
Doing good work is rewarding enough, but it’s always better to receive recognition, thanks, and praise for projects and ideas that you’ve worked extra hard on. Create a culture of sharing success and expressing gratitude and praise for individuals’ contributions.
Celebrate hard work with an employee recognition program and use Polly’s staff awards feature to give shout outs to team members for their contributions. Be sure to personalize this to individuals and offer them congratulations in a way that matches their needs, whether that’s a private thank-you message or a virtual round of applause at the next all-hands meeting.
9. Support professional development
Job satisfaction is a key motivator for most people, and alongside that comes career development opportunities and the chance to learn new skills. Build a work environment that lets individuals tailor their career path to match their goals and enjoy higher levels of employee engagement as a result.
Promote employee development by offering courses, workshops, and funding for materials or attending conferences. Create opportunities for team members to learn new skills from each other, through mentorship or shadowing programs. Make sure any support can be completely customized to individuals, so they feel a sense of control, pride, and happiness about their career decisions.
10. Cultivate your company culture
Your company culture might be something that develops naturally over time, but that doesn’t mean you can’t influence it at all. Be intentional about your initiatives to foster a culture that matches your company’s core values and desired employee experience.
Reflect on your company’s mission, values, and goals, then picture what your ideal company culture looks like. Work with your team members to get their feedback on what currently works well and what they’d like to change. Use these insights to build an intentional action plan of employee engagement activities that takes you closer to your culture goals.
Transform the employee experience
The right employee engagement strategies can take your team members from disengaged and unhappy to engaged, motivated, and ready to do their best work. Use this guide to help you identify potential strategies, then build an action plan to turn your ideas into reality.
If increasing engagement levels is your focus, bring Polly aboard with you on your journey towards better employee engagement. Our collection of features like pulse surveys, eNPS, employee recognition, and team check-ins allow you to maintain a presence and promote a habit of feedback and engagement.
Written by Nicola Scoon
Nicola Scoon is a freelance writer that's passionate about employee engagement and better workplace experiences. She draws on her experience in internal communications to help companies create content that empowers, encourages, and motivates people to create better experiences for all.